Putsata Reang reads at Jack Straw, May 2019

Survivor – Putsata Reang

Putsata Reang’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a memoir that chronicles her life growing up in rural Oregon and her family’s journey escaping the war and genocide in Cambodia. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss the difficulty of writing a memoir involving people who are living, displacement in its many forms, and Reang’s mother’s love of the television show Survivor. “Growing up, I didn’t really understand why, of all the TV shows, she loved this show so much. . . . I thought, you know, Mom’s, just, being crazy. Well, after I heard the story of how we escaped Cambodia and survived — Actually, I do think she can win.”

Music by The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.