Photo: Kalamazoo College

Photo: Kalamazoo College

I think this is the most transformative summer common reading we have had. You could have heard a pin drop in the chapel on Thursday night and remember that line of students wanting to ask questions—and such a good discussion in my group—remarkable. I will never forget these experiences.
— Zaide Pixley, Dean of First Year and Advising, Kalamazoo College
President John J. DeGioia, who introduced Ratner, told the students he hoped their experience talking about the book and hearing the author speak would help them ‘more deeply understand [their] own story, [their] own imagination and the threads that bond us together in this community.’
— Georgetown University Marino International Writers' Academic Workshop
Like your book, your words at the Athenaeum Symposia were haunting and powerful. Your insights, based on your personal experience, into political repression have, in fact, encouraged a dialogue at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College on human rights and our responsibility as global citizens.
— Joan Naake, Acting Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education, Montgomery College

Bravery comes in many forms. As Salman Rushdie confirmed at the opening night of PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the artist standing up to repression is just one kind of bravery. Another is the courage to create a new work of art . . . There is no doubt that Ratner is a brave writer. Alas, the real courage may rest with the reader: how will you approach her story?
— Shaun Randol, World Literature Today

Vaddey Ratner’s work is testament to the indomitable human spirit of survival amidst adversity. It takes the reader through an extremely emotional journey, against the historical backdrop of the revolution in Cambodia.
— Gerd Nonneman, Dean of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service - Qatar

To propose a future event, please contact:

Hadley Walker Black

A selection of past events:

PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, opening night address, New York, NY

PEN/Faulkner Gala address, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Keynote, Miami Book Fair, Miami, FL

37th Annual Christamore House Guild, Indianapolis, IN

Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Gardner Center for Asian Art & Ideas, Seattle, WA

United Nations Association, Institute of International Education, New York, NY

Georgetown University International Writers’ Academic Workshop, Washington, DC

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Doha, Qatar

Arts Club of Washington, Women’s National Book Association, Washington, DC

WordFest Literary Festival, Calgary, Canada

Aschehoug Literary Gathering, Oslo, Norway

BookExpo America, New York, NY

Kalamazoo College Summer Common Reading Event, Kalamazoo, MI

Nantucket Literary Festival, Nantucket, MA

32nd Annual Conference on the First Year Experience, Orlando, FL

Athenaeum Symposia speaker series at Montgomery College, Gaithersburg, MD

BookMania! Festival, Martin County Library System, Jensen Beach, FL

Creative Writing Program, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Baltimore Sun Book Club, Baltimore, MD