Author Thon Thavry was born into a farming family in Koh Khsach village of Ponlea commune in Sa’ang district of Kandal province.
Despite being simple farmers, her family has always supported and valued education, so they encouraged her to pursue a university degree and gave her the freedom to do so.
That led to her seizing the opportunity to study abroad and earn a Bachelor’s degree in information technology from the Czech Republic’s University of Hradec Kralove.
“My parents always told me that education is the key to success and it will eventually reduce the level of poverty in Cambodia,” she said.
In addition to being an author, Thavry is a production manager at the Seavphov Jivet or Book of Life publishing house. She said that since childhood she has dreamed of becoming a writer and travelling around the world.
Thavry has written two children’s books, published in 2010 and 2011 by the Room to Read organisation, as well as an inspirational book published by a Taiwanese company in 2013.
In 2017, she published the book A Proper Woman in English and later translated it into Khmer as Neary Pro Pey.
The book was also translated into Czech and published and distributed in the Czech Republic from October 2019.
In 2018, she published another book titled Life’s Captain Part 1 and followed it up with Life’s Captain Part 2, which was published in October 2019.
She also co-wrote the books Domneur or Journey, Defeated but Never Surrendered and Nissay or Temperament.
Her next book, scheduled for release in December 2022, is titled he New Day Still Exists.
“The books I have written so far focus on motivation and the pursuit of a dream. No matter how many obstacles you face in life, you should not give up too easily,” the author stated.
Her book Neary Pro Pey or A Proper Woman is the true story of a young Cambodian woman who overcomes her struggles with society and as a result becomes a role model and an inspiration to many young women.
Growing up on an island along the Bassac River and living on a farm with her family far from the sophistication of modern urban life and subject to the pressures of Cambodia’s old traditions, customs and stereotypes, Thavry’s personal story has served as an inspiration to women in similar circumstances around the world.
As Cambodia emerged from the flames of war, rural life for most women meant an early marriage and childbearing while living on a family farm and unquestionably obeying the decisions of one’s elders, leading to young people and women having fewer freedoms to make their own choices or express themselves.
However, with the support of her parents – who like many Cambodians had suffered through a difficult upbringing during Cambodia’s period of turmoil – Thavry was instilled with a sense of the value of education as the only way to free one’s self from ignorance and control one’s own fate.
The books Life’s Captain Parts 1 and 2 are about the life of one girl who was born in the countryside. She has had dreams since she was a child, and those dreams motivated her to face and overcome the hardships of life.
The book also describes the challenges faced by the young woman, including contempt from others, discrimination, fear, violence, severe emotional pressure, romantic failures and bitterness. She grew up asking the question,” what was so wrong with just being born a girl?”
However, the book also focuses on the beauty in life and the idea that no matter how difficult things become there’s always a way forward and even the most challenging experiences are valuable because they shape who that person becomes.
“No matter who we are, where we come from, what family we come from, if we have a dream, we must try our best to achieve that dream, only we are the captains of our lives. Do not let the critical words of others make us lose our dreams or our life goals,” said Thavry.