Milliardæren og gründeren Bill Gates er mest kjent som mannen bak min uunnværlige verktøykasse Microsoft. Mindre kjent er at han også er en bokorm. Jeg vet ikke hvor mange bøker han leste i 2017, men han har plukket ut sine fem årets bøker. To av dem ble skrevet av sørvietnamesiske flyktninger som er bosatt i USA.
Den første boken er The Best We Could Do av Thi Bui som jeg ikke har lest. Den andre boken, The Sympathizer, av Viet Thanh Nguyen, liker jeg godt. Jeg har skrevet om den i et annet innlegg.
Her er Bill Gates’ omtaler av bøkene:
The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui. The graphic novel, which Gates calls “gorgeous,” starts in the delivery room where the author is giving birth; her mother, unable to watch, walks out. The daughter of Vietnam refugees who fled to the U.S. in 1978, she is prompted by the birth of her own child to understand more about her parents’ childhood growing up in a country torn apart by foreign occupiers. Gates finds the novel to be a great amalgamation of universalist themes (“when it comes to raising our kids, we simply do the best we can do” he writes) and the author’s personal experiences: “It’s clear that a lot of the dysfunction surrounding her childhood is a direct result of what happened in Vietnam.”
The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Another Pulitzer Prize winner, a debut novel, this time in the fiction category. The book tells the story of a North Vietnamese communist double agent embedded with the South Vietnamese Army and their American allies. After being evacuated after the fall of Saigon, he ends up, like many Vietnamese, in California where he spies on fellow refugees and sends reports written in invisible ink to his handler back in Vietnam. The book left a deep impression on Gates (who first visited Vietnam in 2006) in the fact that it offered “a much-needed Vietnamese perspective on the war.”
Bill Gates’ omtaler av bøkene: