The Disappeared by Kim Echlin

The Disappeared

Kim Echlin

Densely poetic, this daring novel traces a story of love and desire from Montreal to Phnom Penh. The brutalities and horror of war and genocide are balanced by a young girl's intense love affair with a Cambodian refugee and musician. After losing him once when he returns, alone, to Cambodia she makes the journey herself 10 years later, only to suffer a greater loss there than she could possibly have imagined. A beautiful, haunting book.

Extract

When I first met you, I had no burden of family. I dressed and ate and slept how I wanted. I played the music I wanted. I dreamed of going back home. But I no longer followed the way of my ancestors. I was becoming someone new. I thought, by surrendering all that one thinks of as self, self is found. But that changed when I got back here. I cannot stop thinking of what I lost. You caressed the round hardness of my stomach, said, My grandmother told me, Do not pursue the past. Do not lose yourself in the future.

Parallels
  • A Girl Made of Dust by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi
  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie