How to Pronounce Knife: Book Review

When I initially read the title of this book there was some slight confusion, as I in all honesty, thought it was a play on words. 🍴

Little did I know that these series of short stories are actually about racism and the unfair treatment Canadian Author Souvankham underwent. This book/short story series is extremely eye opening and very important in today’s world as the unfortunate events of the Asian Hate Crimes continue.


The story begins with many different characters. A young man painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A father who packs furniture to move into homes he”ll never afford. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. A daughter becomes an unwilling accomplice in her mother”s growing infatuation with country singer Randy Travis. A boxer finds an unexpected chance at redemption while working at his sister”s nail salon. An older woman finds her assumptions about the limits of love unravelling when she begins a relationship with her much younger neighbour. A school bus driver must grapple with how much he”s willing to give up in order to belong.

The author focuses on the hardships people went through to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. 📣

She paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. 🚨

In an interview on CTV she explained the title of this book is from her own experience at a young age when she asked her Father how to pronounce Knife and he told her it was K-nife. Going to school and pronouncing it like this only led to more people making fun of her. 🔪

Thammavongsa’s quote “All we wanted was to live” stood out to me as this is the basis of all immigrants which people need to understand. These acts of racism and hate crimes really are disgusting. We are all people. We are all human. And we are all in this together. 💌

These stories are a MUST READ!!! In a beautiful, eye opening way, the author is able to coney important messages about the difficult nature her family went through moving to Canada. 🇨🇦

Overall Cupcake Count: 🧁🧁🧁🧁

Yours ‘til the hu-manities 🐋 (not a manatee but I hope you got it😉)


3 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m definitely buying this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such an eye opening read!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can make that by your review!


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