'The Rent Collector' is a throught-provoking story of family, love and forgiveness
In April, Wright went to Cambodia with his son and others to find Sang Ly. It had been four years since his son had been there to film the documentary. Since that time the government had closed the dump and the group did not know where the family was located. They were found still living at the dump.
The day before Wright left for Cambodia, he had been rushed an advance reading copy of “The Rent Collector.” He recalled presenting it to Sang Ly, who only knew of the "white guys" who had filmed her family.
“When she took that book and she opened up the cover, she saw her picture and she just laughed out loud,” recalled Wright with a laugh of his own.
Throughout the novel, Wright references several sub-stories which serve as learning and growing experiences for Sang Ly as she reads them. One of them is a Cinderella-like story.
“We all want to have a happy ending,” said Wright. “A lot of times in life, sometimes you do and sometimes it feels like you don’t. But you could argue if it is not a happy ending yet, maybe you are just in the middle of your story.”
Life in Stung Meanchey is often in the middle of a story. Issues such as death, theft and child prostitution have come to be part of the Cambodian existence. Though he does not go in to detail in the book, Wright wanted to include these events to bring awareness to problems that people in Cambodia face daily.
“If you can bring it to light, it is more likely that you can do something about it,” Wright said. In his own effort to help, a portion of the proceeds of the book will go to Sang Ly and her family and also to the Cambodian Children’s Fund.
“I think every writer hopes that their writing makes a difference,” said Wright.
This is his second published book. His first book, "Letters for Emily," was a “Readers Choice” award winner and also a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. Like “Letters for Emily,” Wright’s new book “The Rent Collector” is an inspirational story.
“I think that hope is sort of an innate thing that we come down here with,” Wright said. “Things get terrible and things get bad, but we always look to better times, and I think that is how we live.”
The kick-off party for “The Rent Collector” will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City. Later that week, Wright will make appearances at Deseret Book locations. For information visit www.therentcollectorbook.com.
If you go ...
What: Camron Wright book signings
When: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
When: Thursday, Sept. 6, 6 p.m.
Where: Deseret Book, University Village, 1079 S. 750 East, Orem
When: Friday, Sept. 7, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Deseret Book, City Creek Downtown, 45 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
When: Saturday, Oct. 6, noon
Where: Deseret Book, Fort Union, 1110 E. Fort Union Blvd, Midvale
When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 4 p.m.
Where: Deseret Book, Bountiful, 135 N. 454 West, Bountiful
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