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, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood-the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the author's extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
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Praise for Dead Man's Land:
'A hugely powerful depiction of wartime horror, a cunning murder mystery and a brilliant re-invention of Dr John Watson which sees Sherlock Holmes's sidekick finally take centre stage in what I hope will be the start of a long-running series. Conan Doyle would most definitely approve!' - Mark Billingham
'Ryan's reinvention of Holmes' amanuensis Dr John Watson in a striking new setting is the richest the character has ever enjoyed' --Barry Forshaw, author of The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction
Vaddey Ratner is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Her critically acclaimed bestselling debut novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan, was a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and has been translated into seventeen languages. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University, where she specialized in Southeast Asian history and literature. Her most recent novel is Music of the Ghosts.
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