“I Am Oum Ry” Strikes Hard
Cultural Historian JoAnn LoSavio (Washington State University) reviews the forthcoming book I Am Oum Ry: A Champion Kickboxer’s Story of Surviving the Cambodian Genocide and Discovering Peace with an eye toward her focus on Southeast Asian sport:
“This memoir strikes hard on multiple levels. It is a reflection of contemporary America and the transnational, transcultural, immigrant experience that many Americans live. Daughter Zochada Tat and Somekh portray Oum Ry, his many lovers, his wife, his children, and the myriad of people who came, left, or stayed in his orbit, in all their flawed perfection; the logics behind his and their behavior as consequences of individualized trauma: parental abandonment, grief of loved ones lost or killed, sexual desire and exploitation. Oum Ry, like many other fortunate refugees, makes his way to the United States where he finds both happiness and deep disappointment. The life of a migrant is bittersweet, filled with hope and longing. For almost every reader, I Am Oum Ry will evoke a multitude of emotions ranging from sad to inspired. Oum Ry’s life has been a rollercoaster in and out of the fighter’s ring. It has been dramatic in positive and negative ways. His is a life worth the reading.”
Read more about I Am Oum Ry.