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The Dead Eye And The Deep Blue Sea


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About the Author

PRUM VANNAK is a Cambodian survivor of human trafficking. While looking for work on the Thai border, he was detained as a slave on a fishing boat for four years until he escaped by literally jumping ship. His rescuers on the Malaysian coast sold him to a plantation, where he labored for another year before an NGO helped him return to his family. Upon his return, he drew pictures of what he remembered in order to prove and explain his whereabouts during his hellish years as a modern-day slave. Though he never had any formal education or training in art, Vannak had long loved drawing--first in the dirt, then on wooden boards with dried clay, until one day in his youth when a Vietnamese soldier gave him paper and pencils. JOCELYN PEDERICK and BEN PEDERICK are award-winning filmmakers and writers. Together they have directed and produced more than twenty films, and they are half of the four-member team that comprises the Australian film company goodmorningbeautiful. Ben is also an accomplished author and award-winning blogger.


"[A] grim, moving testimony." -Hillary Chute, New York Times Book Review

"Vannak Anan Prum provides a most vivid and compelling testimony, through luscious watercolors and the author's honest oral account, transcribed and composed to meld with Prum's artwork. ... This is a unique and remarkable book that readers will quickly find themselves immersed in. Human trafficking is not an obvious subject matter for the casual reader but Mr. Prum handles the subject with great dignity, never delivering a false note, and even maintaining a sense of hope throughout." -Comics Grinder

"Excellent drawing accompanies a remarkable story of persistence-and yet the artist still has trouble making a living in his native Cambodia, while human trafficking on land and sea continues to flourish." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An essential wake-up call for adults and high schoolers about the present-day misery lurking behind comfy, tech-enhanced modern life." -Martha Cornog, Library Journal, starred review

"This firsthand account of modern slavery, told in powerful, detailed full-color drawings that feel as if they've been inscribed in blood, opens a window on a world rarely acknowledged. ... This graphic memoir tells the urgent truth that slavery persists in contemporary times and asks readers to question their unknowing participation as consumers in the global trade systems that sustain it. Prum displays a great generosity of spirit in putting his pain to the page; as he says, he now 'has a wound that will never heal.' The seas teem with men like Prum; this book makes them visible, through his unique story." -Publishers Weekly

"His resonant panels become indelible testimony to prove his experiences, not just for his family but also for the rest of the world. In recognition of his work, he ultimately received a State Department Human Rights Defender Award. ... This glimpse into the reality of modern-day slavery provides important lessons in empathetic humanity for mature teens." -Terry Hong, Booklist

"More than just a literary or artistic work, The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea documents an experience of modern slavery and offers a graphic, rare glimpse into that world, making Vannak Anan Prum's firsthand, true story a unique and highly recommended piece for a wide range of collections." -Donovan's Bookshelf

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