Top Twos-Day: B is for Battle

Two great women, one fictionalizes her childhood in Cambodia, the other fought cancer and penned amazing poetry.

Vaddy Ratner lived with poverty, fear and loss under the reign on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Her novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan (Simon and Schuster, August 2012),chronicles a painful personal record, through the voice of seven-year old Raami. “In the end, observed Ratner, the Khmer Rouge cannot be seen as a single voice but a whirlwind of forces emerging from Cambodia’s culture and atmosphere and a long history of injustice…” Library Journal.

“The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010” (BOA Editions, Ltd. August 2012) weighs in at a  hefty 700+ pages, is worth delving in to. “Clifton was a master of minimalism and understatement, able to use techniques that would fail utterly in lesser poets’ hands—single-word lines, no punctuation or capital letters, the lowercase “i” as a pronoun—to startling effect, even when she’s just writing about the trials of being a poet…” (Publisher’s Weekly)


More Top Twos-Days…

sign language letter 'B' from


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