Putsata Reang in Conversation With Omar El Akkad

This event is in the past
Tue May 17, 7 pm
Powell's City of Books Pearl District (Portland)
This is an in-person event
$0 - $28
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"When Putsata Reang was eleven months old, her family fled war-torn Cambodia, spending 23 days on an overcrowded navy vessel before finding sanctuary at an American naval base in the Philippines. Holding what appeared to be a lifeless baby in her arms, Ma resisted the captain’s orders to throw her bundle overboard. Instead, on landing, Ma rushed her baby into the arms of American military nurses and doctors, who saved the child's life. “I had hope, just a little, you were still alive,” Ma would tell Put in an oft-repeated story that became family legend. Over the years, Put lived to please Ma and make her proud, hustling to repay her life debt by becoming the consummate good Cambodian daughter, working steadfastly by Ma’s side in the berry fields each summer and eventually building a successful career as an award-winning journalist. But Put's adoration and efforts are no match for Ma's expectations. When she comes out to Ma in her twenties, it's just a phase. When she fails to bring home a Khmer boyfriend, it's because she's not trying hard enough. When, at the age of 40, Put tells Ma she is finally getting married — to a woman — it breaks their bond in two. In her startling memoir, Ma and Me (MCD), Reang explores the long legacy of inherited trauma and the crushing weight of cultural and filial duty. With rare clarity and lyric wisdom, Ma and Me is a stunning, deeply moving memoir about love, debt, and duty. Reang will be joined in conversation by Omar El Akkad, author of What Strange Paradise." (Promo Copy)

Powell's City of Books

1005 W Burnside Portland, OR 97205 Venue website

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