Winner of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award. Finalist for the 2023 Lesbian Memoir/Biography Lambda Literary Award
“A nuanced mediation on love, identity, and belonging. This story of survival radiates with resilience and hope.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “This openhearted memoir . . . opens the door to include queer descendants of war survivors into the growing American library of love.” –Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show
When Putsata Reang was eleven months old, her family fled war-torn Cambodia, spending twenty-three days on an overcrowded navy vessel before finding sanctuary at an American naval base in the Philippines. Holding what appeared to be a lifeless baby in her arms, Ma resisted the captain’s orders to throw her bundle overboard. Instead, on landing, Ma rushed her baby into the arms of American military nurses and doctors, who saved the child’s life. “I had hope, just a little, you were still alive,” Ma would tell Put in an oft-repeated story that became family legend.