Book title: In the Shadow of the Banyan
Author: Vaddey Ratnar
Genre: Young Adult fiction
Heritage: Cambodian American
Published Date: 2010 / 2012
Blurb: 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, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of her childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father - and fights for her improbably survival. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for improbable survival. In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendence power of narrative and brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
About the Author:
Vaddey Ratner was five years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. Having endured four years under the brutal regime, she arrived in the United States in 1981 as a refugee not knowing English and eventually went on to graduate summa cum laude from the Cornell University, where she specialized in Southeast Asian history and literature. She lives in Potomac, Maryland.