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  • Leah Zani

Read the Introduction of BOMB CHILDREN for free online!

Writing this book was challenging and rewarding! And I am so happy to be able to share the introduction of my book, available to read for free online: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-1-4780-0485-1_601.pdf


The introduction begins with a story of parallel worlds of war and peace, told to me by an explosives technician at Wat Sokpaluang, a Theravada Buddhist forest temple in Vientiane, Laos' capital city. From there, I set up the conceptual frame of the book: that ongoing war violence and peacetime development are parallel, but often distinct, process that layer through people's everyday lives. War violence is like a parallel world, a door that is often closed, but through which one may slip at any moment.


The book is complete with a cover by Duke University Press' award-winning design team. The diagonal tiles on the cover are taken from COPE, Laos' national prosthetics factory and rehabilitation center, where I did some of my field research. The tiles depict a cluster munition opening to release hundreds of tiny bomblets (the small spheres in the image), on display at COPE's visitor centre. These bomblets are often called luk laberd, bomb children, in Lao and give the inspiration for the title of the book.



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,Image: A cache of live bombs 

mostly cluster submunitions, abandoned 

at a provincial office in Phonesvanah, Laos