** In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

Presented as a novel but with strong autobiographical resonance, In the Shadow of the Banyan tells the life of a privileged family in Cambodia through the Khmer Rouge revolution. It’s a brutal tale, as the regime, with adults and children killed, tortured, starved, denunciated, disappeared. I thought it would have worked better as a straight memoir (although perhaps the level of horror would not have reached the crescendo shown here, or perhaps the family did not wish to share the story as is). In the fictionalized form, the overdone poetical descriptions and heavy foreshadowing obscure the real-life details that would transform the country’s history into a personal one.

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One response to “** In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

  1. Pingback: ** Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill | FT's Books

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