The Hungry Season

A Journey of War, Love, and Survival

Coming Soon


By Lisa M. Hamilton

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$38.00 CAD

In the tradition of Katherine Boo and Tracy Kidder, a deeply reported drama ranging from the mist-covered mountains of Laos to the sunbaked flatlands of Fresno, California, tracing one woman’s quest to overcome the wounds inflicted by war and family alike.

As combat rages across the lush highlands of Vietnam and Laos, a child is born. Ia Moua enters life at the bottom of her world’s social order, both because she is part of Laos’s Hmong minority and because she is female. But when brutal communist rule upends her life and strips Ia of all she loves, this young girl resolves to chart her own defiant path. With ceaseless ambition and an indestructible spirit, Ia builds a new life for herself and, before long, for her children, first in the refugee camps of Thailand and then in the industrial heartland of California’s San Joaquin Valley. At the root of her success is a simple act: growing rice as her ancestors did, even as she and her crop must adapt to Fresno’s punishing, desert-like landscape. As she gains power and independence, however, Ia must confront all that she left behind—and find a place in her heart for those who left her.

Meticulously reported over seven years and written with the intimacy of a novel, The Hungry Season is an unforgettable tale about hard-won survival and the nourishment that matters most.


On Sale
Sep 26, 2023
Page Count
368 pages

Lisa M. Hamilton

About the Author

Writer and photographer Lisa M. Hamilton has documented agriculture and rural communities around the world. She was a National Fellow with New America, and has received additional fellowships, grants and awards from the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, California Historical Society, Creative Work Fund, James Beard Foundation and others. She is the author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness, and her feature articles have appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, Virginia Quarterly Review, and California Sunday. She lives in Northern California.

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