where the writers are
Bones That Float
The phrase, "bones that float," refers to the Cambodian belief that the sacred can rise above suffering. It is also the title of a powerful independent publication (BonesThatFloat.com) that has already captured both the Nautilus Book Award and an Indie Award for Excellence. Authored by Kari Grady Grossman, it's a literary gem well worth the read. Despite the fact that horrific Cambodian suffering fills the pages of this story that takes us from the bloody Khmer Rouge jungles, populated by fierce boy soldiers, to modern-day Phnom Pehn, where foreign pedophiles flock to purchase young girls for sexual purposes, Bones That Float is inspiring and hopeful.  Two interwoven stories movingly tell of two Cambodians, one of whom escaped the Khmer Rouge's savageries and one who did not. The story is also deeply personal. It is driven by the Grossman's decision (after a mighty but unsuccessful effort -- despite as many infertility interventions as they could afford -- to have a child of their own) to adopt a child from a legitimate Cambodian orphanage. The Grossmans were so grateful to find their healthy, thriving son, Eric Ratanak Grossman, there that they decided to adopt Cambodia too. In gratitude, helped by the author's parents-in-law, they established a school for Cambodian children at risk in their son's honor. Coincidentally, the organization to whom I gave an author talk yesterday about my own book (Cryokid - Drawing a New Map, www.cryokid.com), Jewish Women International (www.jwi.org), is supporting a Residential Treatment Center for children at risk in Israel. This brand new home for the children and staff is located in Abu Gosh, a small town just outside of Jerusalem. The purpose is to help these children overcome traumatic childhoods (much like the Grossmans are attempting to do in Cambodia) and go on to lead successful, productive adult lives. JWI is asking for contributions to sponsor "Days of Care" at the treatment center. I was proud to make a small contribution from the sale of my own book after my author talk. The combination of literature and social consciousness can be a powerful motivator, both for the author and those who read his/her work. It can inspire others to help bones float.