Thursday, August 08, 2013

Vaddey Ratner's In the Shadow of the Banyan Coming Up for Cleveland

Spread the word! Cleveland Rights Readers will be reading In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner for September. The book was a PEN/Hemingway Award Finalist this year (along with our previous selection Jennifer DuBois A Partial History of Lost Causes.)  The discussion will be held at 6:30 PM on September 8 at Mac's Backs. Here's more on this novel inspired by the author's experiences as a Cambodian refugee,
For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. 
Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
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