Sunday, February 25, 2007

Loung Ung - a national treasure

One of the highlights of my recent month in Cambodia was meeting up with a long-time friend, best-selling authoress, Loung Ung. We met in Phnom Penh and enjoyed a gorgeous meal together and great conversation. She epitomizes what is so appealing about Cambodians across the globe, wherever they are, whatever their background and whatever they do for a living. She is a national treasure, both in the US and Cambodia, and a captivating dinner companion. And both of her books are best-sellers for a reason, she's an extremely gifted writer.

Next month, both of her books will be published in paperback in the UK for the first time, by Mainstream Publishing, who have the rights for the UK, the Commonwealth and Europe. Her first book, First They Killed My Father - A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers will be available at £7.99, whilst her second book, After They Killed Our Father - A Refugee from the Killing Fields Reunites with the Sister she left behind (known as Lucky Child elsewhere) will retail at £12.99. I'm awaiting confirmation of whether Loung will visit the UK to coincide with the publication, but I have been told that she's accepted an invitation to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August this year. She's an accomplished public speaker, regularly touring the US and beyond, talking about her childhood experiences as well as the continuing threat of landmines around the globe. You can read more about Loung Ung here.

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