This poetic novel (no really, it's a collection of poems) is written like a diary, so the entire thing is in first person. It's also pretty much entirely in the present tense, as though Hà is making notes as things happen. Check out this passage for an example:
I look at my toes, feeling Brother Khoi's eyes burn into my scalp. (1.27.9)
We're right there with Hà, right? There's an intimacy and an immediacy created through this first person poetry, and it steeps us in Hà's experience from start to finish.