Cover design by Hannah Perrine Mode
Ghosts in the Forest
A Kindle Single
In 2004, 34 men, women and children stepped out of a Southeast Asian rainforest and presented themselves as refugees from violence engulfing their native Cambodia. They did not know that the war they were fleeing had in fact ended—25 years earlier.
I was one of the first journalists to meet the families when they emerged from the forest. Three years later, I returned to Cambodia to learn the truth about their time on the run. What I found was a darker and more complicated tale than the one they first shared, a story of terror, isolation, fierce loyalty, appalling choices and murder. Ghosts in the Forest examines the unyielding human need for family and connection and the meaning of survival.
In 2009, the photographs I took in northeast Cambodia during the book's reporting were featured in a solo exhibit at the International Center in New York entitled "People of the Spirit Forest: Photographs of Life Among Cambodia's Highland Tribes." The photographs can be viewed here. They are now on permanent display at the Newburg Children's Museum in Newburg, Missouri.