April 1, 2024

"Denise Chong: Out of Darkness" at Vancouve Public Library on Saturday, April 27, 2024

How do you rebuild a life after being blinded by an act of unspeakable violence?

In 2011, news about Rumana Monzur shocked the world: her husband brutally assaulted her in front of her children when she returned home to Bangladesh, after completing her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia. The attack left her blind.

In her new biography Out of Darkness, Denise Chong goes beyond the headlines to tell Rumana’s story: one not only of betrayal, abuse and tyranny but also of loyalty, perseverance, and a woman’s determination to rebuild a life with meaning.

Denise will discuss her book with award-winning writer and poet, Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

Denise Chong is an award-winning author whose work portrays the lives of ordinary people caught in the eye of history. She is best known for her family memoir, The Concubine's Children; The Girl in the Picture about the napalm girl of the Vietnam War; and Egg on Mao, a story of love and defiance in China of 1989.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar is the author of five books and was poet laureate for the City of Surrey 2015–2018. Her books include the award-winning Children of Air India and Listening to the Bees. Her poetry, essays and short fiction have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, including Exile Editions, Chatelaine, The Capilano Review, and Pulp Literature. Bramah's Quest is the latest volume of her epic fantasy in verse, THOT J BAP, The Heart of This Journey Bears All Patterns. Renée Sarojini teaches creative writing and editing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and hosts Lunch Poems at SFU.


This event is part of Uplift Asian, a programming series at VPL designed to celebrate Asian cultures and perspectives, and push back against discrimination in our communities.