'Music of the Ghosts' author to speak at Darien Library

Vaddey Ratner, author of Music of the Ghosts, will be the Darien Library’s featured speaker on Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served.

Music of the Ghosts is a moving and often gripping exploration of the Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime and its aftermath. Ratner relentlessly shows the devastating impact of traumatic history on families and the nation, but leaves us with a carefully measured hope for insight and renewal.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of In the Shadow of the Banyan comes a novel about a young woman who returns to her homeland after receiving a letter from a mysterious man who claims to have known her father before he disappeared in the Cambodian holocaust.

Teera, a 37-year-old American, returns to Cambodia for the first time after her harrowing escape as a child refugee more than two decades earlier. She carries back with her the ashes of her recently deceased aunt and a letter from a stranger who claims he knew her father in Slak Daek, the notorious Pol Pot security prison where her father disappeared.

When she arrives, Teera finds a country of survivors, where perpetrators and victims of recent atrocities are finding a way to live side by side. She reacquaints herself with places that ignite long-buried memories, meets a young doctor who begins to open her heart to a new Cambodia, and prepares herself to learn her father’s fate from the author of the letter, known as the Old Musician.

Together Teera and the Old Musician confront the truth of their intertwined past, weaving a redemptive melody that will leave both transformed, and freeing Teera to find a new home and a new love in the places she least expects.

Vaddey Ratner is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and arrived in the United States when she was eleven years old. Her New York Times bestselling and critically-acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan, was a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist and has been translated into seventeen languages.