Music Through the Dark by Bree Lafreniere
A Tale of Survival in Cambodia (Intersections (Honolulu, Hawaii).)

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"I cannot tell you how or why I survived; I do not know myself. It is like this: love and music and memory and invisible hands, and something that comes out of the society of the living and the dead, for which there are no words."

So begins the extraordinary story of one man's experience of Cambodia's holocaust during the 1970s. As Anne Frank did in her Diary, Daran Kravanh takes readers into the heart of a horrifying tragedy-one that claimed the lives of his parents and seven siblings and as many as three million other Cambodians. Among those murdered were thousands of intellectuals and artists; as a musician, Daran himself was a target for execution, but it was his talent for playing the accordion that saved his life. Throughout the Khmer Rouge period, the accordion became for Daran a seemingly enchanted instrument through which the spirit of life traveled.

"We are privileged to have the story of Daran Kravanh's life during the Khmer Rouge genocidal reign told so beautifully. Bree Lafreniere allows us to understand the greatness of the spirit and its ultimate triumph over darkness. This book is an extraordinary record of the Cambodian soul."--Dith Pran, Cambodian holocaust survivor whose story inspired and award-winning film, "The Killing Fields"

"Not in a long time have I read a book so horrifying and so beautiful. What a species we are: capable of unimaginable brutality and, equally, of unimaginable grace. We plunge into the depths of both in Music through the Dark, a story about life, death, and destiny, in Cambodia. The book is part poetry, part elegy; half fairy tale, half nightmare. And it is all true, and full of truth, about the potential of human evil and the exquisite saving grace of music and the human spirit from which it arises. Told in an artless yet strangely lyrical voice, the story of Daran Kravanh is not just a tale of survival but of survival through one of the darkest pits of hell as created by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge soldiers...It is a story everyone should know and no human being should experience."--AlexTizon, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seattle Times

Author Biography: Bree Lafreniere earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of Oregon and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Solomon Islands. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, where she has worked with refugees since 1989.


About Bree Lafreniere

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Lafreniere earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of Oregon and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Solomon Islands. She has worked with rufugees since 1989.
Published April 1, 2000 by Univ of Hawaii Pr. 156 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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The tale of Kravanh’s endurance is not pretty: over the years, he is shifted between various communal projects where hunger is enforced and infractions against Angkar (the Khmer state) bring summary execution, and he eventually loses most of his family (beginning with his father, a highly regarde...

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