Tuesday, September 24th, 7PM
Alan Lightman presents his new novel, THREE FLAMES
The stories of one Cambodian family are intricately braided together in Alan Lightman’s haunting THREE FLAMES, his first work of fiction in seven years. THREE FLAMES portrays the struggles of a Cambodian farming family against the extreme patriarchal attitudes of their society and a cruel and dictatorial father, set in a rural community that is slowly being exposed to the modern world and its values. A mother must fight against memories of her father’s death at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, and her powerful desire for revenge. A daughter is married off at sixteen to a wandering husband and his domineering aunt; another daughter is sent to the city to work in the factories to settle her father’s gambling debt. A son dreams of marrying the most beautiful girl in the village and escaping the life of a farmer. And the youngest daughter bravely challenges her father so she can stay in school and strive for a better future. A vivid story of revenge and forgiveness, of a culture smothering the dreams of freedom, and of courage against tradition, THREE FLAMES grows directly from Lightman’s work as the founder of the Harpswell Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance a new generation of female leaders in Cambodia and all of Southeast Asia.