Wednesday, May 18, 2016
HUFFINGTON POST -- In the early ’90s while a graduate student in the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University, I became a cub reporter and got a juicy assignment: Accompany a recent graduate from Stanford who once fled Cambodia as a child and write about his homecoming. A scholarship boy, my subject nevertheless was unprepared for the reality of Cambodia and the reemergence of his own unprocessed trauma. Upon reaching his homeland he slowly unraveled. I went on to write about Cambodia on my own, covering the then unfolding election sponsored by the United Nations. The epitome of the trip culminated in a risky interview of former Khmer Rouge soldiers. But the story of my friend’s return was never written, and the planned video project of his homecoming never made.