The Refugees

by

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Arthur’s friend in “The Transplant.” Louis is Chinese, but he spent most of his life in Vietnam before moving to the United States. He sells counterfeit brand-name products. Louis tells Arthur that he is Men Vu’s son, who is the donor of Arthur’s liver. Louis and Arthur subsequently strike up a close friendship. Arthur becomes closer with Louis than he is with his own brother, and he relies on Louis’s connection and support when he has a falling out with his wife, Norma. This is why, when Arthur discovers that Louis had been lying about being Men’s son, he grows furious, realizing that the friendship that they had formed was built on a false premise. In the end, Louis turns on Arthur, blackmailing him into keeping his merchandise in Arthur’s garage.

Louis Vu Quotes in The Refugees

The The Refugees quotes below are all either spoken by Louis Vu or refer to Louis Vu. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of The Refugees published in 2017.
The Transplant Quotes

“You’re my friend,” Louis replied.

Arthur interpreted the statement to mean that he was Louis’s only friend, for Louis never mentioned anyone else. “You’re my friend, too,” Arthur said, putting as much feeling as he could into his words. For a moment, the two of them maintained eye contact and smiled at each other.

Related Characters: Arthur Arellano (speaker), Louis Vu (speaker), Norma, Martín Arellano
Related Symbols: Liver
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Refugees PDF

Louis Vu Character Timeline in The Refugees

The timeline below shows where the character Louis Vu appears in The Refugees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Transplant
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...like Chanel, Versace, and Givenchy. The products have made Arthur uneasy from the second that Louis Vu delivered them, and Arthur often finds himself slipping out of his rented house and... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Every week, Louis tries to quell Arthur’s fears about housing the fake goods over lunch at Brodard’s, where... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Arthur thinks that Louis is simply telling himself what he wants to hear, but he does wonder about some... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Arthur sees his actions as a gift—a way of paying back Louis’s father, who had inadvertently saved Arthur’s life the previous year. Arthur’s cell phone buzzes: Norma... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Memory and Ghosts Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
...for saving his life. He calls every Vu in the phone book until he finds Louis Vu, who listens to Arthur’s story and says that he’s the one that Arthur is... (full context)
Memory and Ghosts Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
The evening of Arthur and Louis’s lunch, Arthur is back in his living room watching the World Series of Poker. When... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Before meeting Louis, Arthur thought that his organ donor might have been like him and Martín: middle aged... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Louis has recently been buying real estate to add to his income. Arthur asks why he... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
...had called months earlier. Minh says that Men Vu was his father. Arthur says that Louis never mentioned that he had a brother, and Minh asks who Louis is. Arthur quickly... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
...for his first drink since the diagnosis, saying that he’s got to go over to Louis’s apartment. Arthur takes three shots of whiskey as Norma tries to convince him not to... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Arthur arrives at Louis’s apartment and breathlessly tells him about his conversation with Minh. Louis admits that he deceived... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Arthur demands that Louis remove his things from his garage. Louis refuses, saying that they’re friends. Arthur responds that... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Arthur says that he will take the things out of his garage himself, but Louis says that if Arthur does that, Louis will report the undocumented workers at Martín’s business.... (full context)