The Dead Eye And The Deep Blue Sea

The Dead Eye And The Deep Blue Sea : The World of Slavery at Sea - A Graphic Memoir

4.48 (211 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Vannak Anan Prum left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived in large part by honing his ability to tattoo his shipmates--a skill he possessed despite never having been trained in art or having had access to art supplies while growing up.

As a means of escape, Vannak and a friend jumped into the water and, hugging empty fish-sauce containers because they could not swim, reached Malaysia in the dark of night. At the harbor, they were taken into a police station . . . then sold by their rescuers to work on a plantation. Vannak was kept as a laborer for over a year before an NGO could secure his return to Cambodia. After five years away, Vannak was finally reunited with his family.

Vannak documented his ordeal in raw, colorful, detailed illustrations, first created because he believed that without them no one would believe his story. Indeed, very little is known about what happens to the men and boys who end up working on fishing boats in Asia, and these images are some of the first records. In regional Cambodia, many families still wait for men who have disappeared across the Thai border, and out to sea. The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea is a testament to the lives of these many fishermen who are trapped on boats in the Indian Ocean.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 197 x 157 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1609806026
  • 9781609806026
  • 463,851

Review quote

[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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About Prum Vannak

VANNAK ANAN PRUM is a Cambodian survivor of human trafficking. While looking for work on the Thai-Cambodian border, he was detained as a slave on a fishing boat, enduring hard labor and hellish treatment for four grueling years. After making his escape by literally jumping ship, Vannak was sold by his ostensible rescuers on the Malaysian coast to a plantation owner and police official. After another year of hard labor and imprisonment, a human rights organization helped him finally return to his family. At home in Cambodia, he drew pictures of what he remembered to explain his whereabouts during the course of his years as a modern-day slave. Though never formally educated or trained in art, Vannak has loved drawing since childhood--from figures traced in the dirt, to tattoos etched into skin, to these pencil and ink illustrations detailing his personal odyssey. In 2012 Prum was given a State Department Human Rights Defender Award, presented to him directly by then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

To support Vannak and see more of his artwork, visit his online store, https: //www.zazzle.com/vannakprum/

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.
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Rating details

211 ratings
4.48 out of 5 stars
5 57% (121)
4 34% (72)
3 8% (17)
2 0% (1)
1 0% (0)
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