Cambodian-born novelist, VADDEY RATNER, and her mother fled their home country in 1981, after living under the oppressive Khmer Rouge. They lost several family members, who were part of about 2 million people who died under the Communist regime, which had control of the country from 1975-1979. Rattner has thrived and is able to tell the tale of the reign of terror that emptied cities, and forced families into labor camps, among other atrocities. Her father, of royal heritage, and toddler sister didn’t make it to the United States. Ratner’s first book, “In the Shadow of the Banyan,” is from the perspective of a fictitious young girl, and is close to the Maryland-based writer’s life.
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