Ek Tha’s semi-autobiographical novel Long Love, Short Life, is a worthy addition to the literature of post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia – a nation struggling to recover from the horrors of the insane Pol Pot-led genocide regime, to come to terms with its immediate past, trying to revive its shattered traditional cultural mores and identity and adjust them to the new reality and its challenges to prevailing social norms.
Ek Tha’s own journey, from refugee to journalist, and now a spokesperson for the Royal Government of Cambodia, his travels overseas, give him a unique perspective from which to reach out to and inform both Cambodian and foreign readers, in a naïf style that takes us from innocence to knowledge and, finally, acceptance.
Set in in the aftermath of the overthrow of Pol Pot by Vietnamese and Cambodian volunteers, with the countryside still infested by Khmer Rouge rebels, Long Love, Short Life, tells the story of Duongchan, a young provincial girl struggling against poverty to complete her education, and her classmate, Dara, son of a middle-class business family.
It is a time when the U.S. imposed sanctions against providing aid to Cambodia, as part of the Cold War, which were to last for a decade.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press