“Hard Love” Story – Interview with VOA Cambodia

Soksreinith Ten (call her Nith, she told me) , a reporter with Voice of America just interviewed me for their English and Khmer News Service about Either the Beginning or the End of the World. She asked, in a few words tell me what your novel is about. I said it’s about a mother and daughter. They love each other but they can’t tolerate each other easily. “I thought by 16 I’d be over her,” my character says. The mom is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. Then Nith and I had this extraordinary conversation about her mom, also a survivor, and they have the same “hard love” as I write about. I was greatly relieved and honored that Nith found the story honest and true.

Nith  wants to tell her mom’s story; her mom has never talked about the war, “the tears just pour out,” the young reporter said. She sent me a poem she wrote about her mom.  

Our  trailer for Either the Beginning or the End, created by Kornnita Chen, Sophia Sturtuvant,  Fred Okot Ben, James Muller and Kirsten Cappy  with music by Bochan is linked to in the Khmer edition of Nith’s story and was played for 15 million Cambodians.   Here’s the Khmer Edition.

Here’s a link to the English Edition.  The world, again, seems very small.

 

 

Refugee Stories

Soksreinith Ten, a reporter with Voice of America News, just interviewed me for their English and Khmer News Service. She asked, in a few words what is your novel about? I said it’s about a mother and daughter. They love each other but they can’t tolerate each other. “I thought by 16 I’d be over her,” my character says. The mom is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. Then the reporter and I had this extraordinary conversation about her mom, also a survivor, and they have the same “hard love” as I write about.  She wants to tell her mom’s story; her mom has never talked about the war, “the tears just pour out,” the young reporter said.  She sent me a poem she wrote about her mom. I think one day she’ll write the book she wants to write. Image by image, I told her. Poem by poem.   I wanted to post this trailer about the fictional  daughter of a survivor in the novel we were talking about, Either the Beginning or the End of the World.  Kornnita Chen, Sophia Sturtuvant, Fred Okot Ben, Kirsten Cappy creators of the trailer, thank you.

 

Coming Home: Either the Beginning or the End is featured in NH Humanities’ “Soldiers Home and Away” project

Beg or the End

New Hampshire Humanities writes: For fourteen years, America has been mired in war, war being waged by less than one percent of the population. The relatively small number of active military service members has widened a cultural gulf between the military and civilian sectors. Enter the humanities! 

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I’m very excited to work with Leslie Pasternak who’ll lead the discussion of Either the Beginning or the End of the World and pose questions to me and readers.  Leslie  is the director of Kate Wenner’s  Make Sure It’s Me, a play on the subject of traumatic brain injury among returned service members.    With veteran actors, Leslie has presented the play in libraries and on the stage.  She also takes the play to Vet Centers where veterans participate in the presentation.  It is an extraordinary play that has brought veterans, their families, and communities together to talk, to understand, and to build paths toward healing from traumatic brain injury.  I am honored  that Leslie has championed my book as a way to add to the discussion of soldiers coming home. We’ll be at the Hampstead Library, Hampstead, NH  on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.