Posts Tagged Memoirs
Title: The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures
Author: Sambath Meas
Genre: Family Memoir
This is a story about a father’s dream of escaping a war-torn country in search of stability and freedom so that his children can live and thrive.
Sarin Meas, who was born and grew up in a remote village in Trangel, Kampong Chhnang, drifts from one place to another in search of a purpose, and a better life. In Pailin, a small town in western Cambodia known for its richness of gemstones, he meets a poor and uneducated girl whose daily life, from dusk until dawn, is strained by hard work: selling fruits and vegetables at the local market, along with cooking, doing laundry and cleaning up after strangers and relatives whom her aunt has taken in. If she doesn’t do her chores correctly and one of them tells on her, her aunt, a woman whose mood changes like a person suffering from a split personality, hurls foul language at her and beats her with any heavy object in sight. Sarin realizes that this young woman, whom everyone calls Thach, will die if she continues to live like this. So he marries her out of compassion. His compassion turns into love. Sarin and Thach form a family.
Tragically, after fifteen years of peaceful existence and independence from France, Cambodia gets sucked into the war of idealism between the world’s superpowers—America, China, and the Soviet Union—by way of the Vietnam War. Cambodian leaders and people take sides. The Khmer Republic (backed by the United States) and the Khmer Rouge (backed by China, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam) fight each other acrimoniously. After five years of battle, the relentless Khmer Rouge soldiers emerged victorious. Sarin has an opportunity to escape to Thailand with his family but chooses to remain behind out of fear of the unknown. Soon he realizes the victors don’t know how to manage the country. Fear, paranoia, and revenge turn them and their supporters into a killing machine. Sarin, through cleverness and luck, helps his family navigate the horror of communism. When a second opportunity arrives, like thousands of other surviving Cambodians, he takes the chance to venture into the unknown—to find freedom, opportunity, and a better life for his family.
The Immortal Seeds: A Tribute to Golden Treasures is not only about the continuing of a family’s life cycle; it is also about a father’s idea—a purpose—that gets passed on to his daughter. In turn, she hopes to pass it on to people not only within her community but also around the world.
Book Excerpt 3
As she prepared to bend down and pick up one of the sacred mantra cloths, someone yelled out to her, “Unless you want to die, don’t pick up an abandoned yontr!”
With chubby Sros dangling on her right hip, she continued to move along with the frightened and confused crowds traveling by foot, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles.
As the forests ended, many rice fields appeared in the distance. Just as they reached Phum Svay Sar, people were exposed to a disturbing scene—about ten slain bodies scattered not too far away from each other. In civilian or military clothes, some were lying face down, others face up.
The stench of rotting flesh suffocated the frightened passing crowds. Some vomited until their stomachs dried up. Instead of getting better, as Chea hoped it would, the scene became more and more horrifying. Darker time was on the horizon. People started to pick up speed and rushed out from there as fast as they could.
The faster they moved from one village to another, the more dead bodies they saw. They were everywhere. Some were close together and others were scattered all over the fields. Srey Touch quickly looked away and started to tremble with fright. If she had trembled any harder, she would have dropped her daughter. In her entire life, she had never seen dead bodies before—not those that had met such violent ends—and in such huge numbers. War entered her life through newspapers, radio, and other people who escaped it. She now bore witness to its consequences. What’s going to happen to us now? She wondered. She kept her gaze away from the side of the road and held onto Sros tightly as she tried to block out those disturbing images. Unfortunately, she couldn’t turn her nose away from the horrible stench of rotting human flesh. The smell of death was stronger than ever before.
“King Grandfather would like to wish that your memoir The Immortal Seeds will become successful.”
—Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia
“The Immortal Seeds is a story of war, love, and the unbreakable bonds of family. Touchingly told, Sambath pays homage to her family across the generations, and shares how they helped the Meases to survive the war and thrive in peace.”
—Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father and Lucky Child
“The Immortal Seeds exhibits a memoir’s emphasis on highly personalized, if not fully contextualized, experiences.”
—The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia’s Newspaper
SAMBATH MEAS was born in Pailin, Cambodia at a time of civil war. Having survived the effects of the Vietnam War, the Khmer Civil War, and the Maoist-inspired Khmer Rouge regime, her parents decided not to stick around for another phase of mass killings. Her family, like thousands of other Khmers, fled to the Cambodian-Thai border in 1979. After being displaced in refugee camps for two years, Chicago became their new home in 1981. Meas graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. in political science and is taking writing classes at Northwestern University. She has worked in the legal industry for over 19 years and contributes to the richness that is Chicago literature. In her spare time, she helps novice writers to get started with their stories. Her current projects include self-help, science fiction, graphic novel, and young adult fantasy books. She writes fiction, focusing on murder mystery, fantasy, and science fiction; and nonfiction, focusing on memoir, biography, and self-improvement.
You can follow the author at the following sites
G I V E A W A Y
Win an eBook copy of one of the author’s other books, The Governor’s Daughter, The Mysteries of Colonial Cambodia!
Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust
3.99 at time of posting!
What, exactly, does it mean to share one’s life with a guide dog?
While there is practical merit to the human-canine bond, which developed over a period of 70,000 years, it’s not akin to any other human-animal relationship. It is unique.
The person and guide dog are interdependent, and the bond of mutual trust is what makes the partnership successful and fulfilling for both. Ask yourself how many people you would trust with your life, and after answering, ask yourself if you would trust an animal with your life. Unless you are bonded to and live with a working dog, you might hesitate in answering the second question.
To be sure, guide dogs have performed many heroic tasks and have saved handlers from innumerable dangers. However, there are smaller and subtler things that can mean so very much: the feel of your dog’s head on a foot while riding the bus, the whimpers and doggie dreaming, the way you and the dog move in sync when walking down the street, and countless other tokens of trust and affection.
With this book, I hope to take the reader on a journey of understanding: learning what it’s like to overcome the darker side of disability by walking the path of independence with a canine partner.
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs/Worship & Devotion/Christian Living/Faith
3.99 at time of posting!
Full details, author bio, and free 10% text preview found on author website.
I believe that November 1996 through May 2000 was undoubtedly the most difficult, darkest, and most challenging period of my life. This book was written to give its readers a glimpse of that time, to tell them about many events and people that would have an everlasting effect on me.
The intent is not to provoke an attitude of pity for me from the reader. Instead, I believe that the events, struggles, and triumphs I experienced and describe here are true examples of how God can work in us and through us to empower us, helping us to change and grow.
As I mistakenly attempted to create my own destiny, independent from God, I was driven by determination and pride. I wanted to prove to the world, and most of all to myself, that I could manage on my own. What I didn’t realize was that God was just waiting for me to call upon him. Or was he?
Now I believe he was actually working in my life even when I didn’t recognize or comprehend it.
If you put a relationship with God and his will for you first and foremost, then everything else you do will find a comfortable and appropriate place in your life.
An Artist’s Travel Log: an illustrated memoir of exploration in a wilderness obscured by trauma
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs/Travelers & Explorers
29.73 at time of posting (paperback)
From the heart of author and illustrator, Martina Franklin Poole comes a collection of drawings and vignettes that document the internal exploration and emotional journey through treatment for PTSD. Feeling unable to access the vocabulary she needs to describe her struggles, Martina rediscovers her sketchbook, illustrating her symptoms and emotions with creative fluency. Her artwork is accompanied by written reflections. As she looks back over each piece she identifies how weekly therapy sessions help provide a path toward healing. Openly and honestly compiled, An Artist’s Travel Log is an unusual memoir that will interest anyone whose life has been affected in some way by mental health issues.
Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships
by K.E. Garland
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs/Family Relationships/Dysfunctional Families/Women
5.99 at time of posting!
A father’s presence is important in a daughter’s life. He is the first man a little girl sees and knows. He demonstrates how men relate to women.
But what happens when the father-daughter relationship is dysfunctional? Daddy answers that question.
Included are fourteen memoirs that describe the impact a failed father-daughter relationship can have. These women share essays and narratives that detail various stages of breakdown. Whether an event occurred in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, each story explains how their father’s physical, emotional, or psychological abandonment has affected them.
The book is separated into two parts. Part I shows the proverbial truth in the phrase, hurt people hurt people. While some stories confirm why or how men mistreat their daughters, others show how daughters sometimes internalize neglect and continue the cycle either with the relationship they have with themselves, or others. Part II illustrates how compassion can lead towards a path of inner peace and happiness, no matter the state of the relationship.
Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying Yes to Living
by Tim Bauerschmidt, Ramie Liddle
Genre: Memoirs/Parenting & Relationships/Eldercare/Travel
1.99 at time of posting! LIMITED TIME ONLY!
When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.”
And so Miss Norma took off on an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a thirty-six-foot motor home with her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their dog Ringo.
As this once timid woman says “yes” to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon, and mounts up for a horseback ride. With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life—strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.
Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian’s wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road. It portrays a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.
Precious Silver Chopsticks: A True Story of a Korean Noble Family
by Mae Adams
Genre: Memoirs & Biographies/Asia/Korea
From her childhood in a North Korean mountain village to a successful life in the United States, the years have brought Mae Adams many challenges. With the past full of ghosts, her final challenge is to share her story.
Rejected by a mother who did not want a second daughter, Mae grew up on the periphery of her aristocratic Korean family. Her loving step-grandma (a commoner) took care of her, allowing her to explore the joys and perils of their rural home. Mae describes her emergence into Korean culture, from her Japanese-style education to her most prized possession: her pair of silver chopsticks.
She endures her mother’s abuse, almost-tragic accidents, and her father’s funeral. But things would get much worse. At the end of World War II, Mae and her family flee to South Korea, while her grandma stays behind. Within five years the Korean War erupts, and again they spend several years as refugees before Mae came to the United States for a college education.
Her memoir delves into Korean history and the Japanese occupation, following Mae until her happy ending: marriage to a US Marine colonel and a family and career of her own.