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The Rent Collector
by Camron Wright


Overview - Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not really working.  Read more...

 
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More About The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
 
 
 
Overview
Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not really working. Just when things seem most bleak, Sang Ly learns a secret about the hated, ill-tempered woman, the "the rent collector"-she can read Reluctantly she agrees to teach Sang Ly and does so with the sameharshness she applied to her collection duties until they both learn how literacyhas the power to instill hope and transcend circumstance.
Based on a true story, set in the abject poverty of Cambodia against the backdrop of political oppression and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781609071226
  • ISBN-10: 1609071220
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain
  • Publish Date: September 2012
  • Page Count: 271
  • Reading Level: Ages 16-UP


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-09-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

The written word offers hope for a brighter future in Wright's fact-based new novel (after Letters for Emily). Sang Ly lives with her husband, Ki, and their habitually ill son, Nisay, in Cambodia's biggest municipal dump—Stung Meanchey. There, residents pick through the mountains of garbage in order to salvage resalable bits of flotsam, but Sang Ly is desperate to escape and secure a better life for her ailing son. The titular rent collector—"an abrupt, bitter, angry woman" named Sopeap Sin, but whom everyone calls "Cow—" turns out to be the gracious means by which Sang Ly's dreams might be realized. Hoping to educate Nisay, Sang Ly asks Sopeap Sin to teach her how to read, and as their pedagogical relationship deepens, so too does Sang Ly's understanding of literature expand and enrich her experience of life. But when Nisay's illness worsens and Sopeap Sin disappears, Sang Ly is wrenched from the niceties of composed narratives, and must set out on her own to save her son and uncover the truth behind her mentor's mysterious departure and elusive past. The miseries of the dump—prostitution, sickness, and gangs among them—are interwoven throughout the story, but rather than highlight the reasons behind Sang Ly's desire to leave, the peripheral chaos overwhelms and dilutes the core plot. Like Stung Meanchey, Wright's book sometimes shimmers, but there's a lot to sift through to get to the goods. (Sept.)

 
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