Official Website of Author
At various times in her life, Carol DeMent has enjoyed careers as an educator, a grant writer, and a healthcare provider. She worked as a volunteer and as a professional in the field of SE Asian refugee resettlement for ten years, and completed master’s level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for over two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in SE Asia. Saving Nary is her first novel.
Ms. DeMent has studied and practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for nearly twenty years, a calling that will be reflected in her second novel, now under development. When not writing, Ms. DeMent is an avid recreational cyclist. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.
Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.
Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.
Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.
Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.
(Please scroll down for Works in Progress!)
Works in Progress
Working Title: Bloodlines
Set in Montana during the late 1800s-early 1900s, Bloodlines is a coming of age story about a young girl whose world is turned upside down when the older brother she adores returns from war in the Orient a changed man: wounded in body and soul, married to the Chinese girl who nursed him and beholden to her grandfather, whose ancient Chinese medicines saved his life.
Estimated Publication Date: 2018
Working Title: Ajaan Carol: In the Shadow of a King
This memoir depicts the Peace Corps experiences of the author as a teacher in Petchaburi, Thailand from 1985-87. A lot can happen in two years, and this memoir revisits events that are in turn humorous, scandalous and tragic.
Estimated Publicaton Date: 2019
IN THE PRESS
Reflections on Saving Nary
There’s a great deal of interesting psychologizing going on in
Carol DeMent’s SAVING NARY, which is about a
man named Khath who befriends a young Cambodian girl
who reminds him of his missing daughter...
There is quite a strong sense of place here, as well as an intense depiction of the characters and their motives and feelings.
What’s amazing, really, is that DeMent is able to render this material in such a clear-eyed manner, with such a lack of sentimentality.
The relationship between Khath and Nary is entirely believable and lacking in any kind of artifice. This is a book that should
appeal to readers interested in the region but also in
thrillers generally, as it’s quite an exciting story.
Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest
Self-Published Book Awards.