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First they killed my father : a daughter of…
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First they killed my father : a daughter of Cambodia remembers (2001)

by Loung Ung

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English (35)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (38)
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The author's true account of her life as a child when her hometown of Phnom Penh falls to the Khmer Rouge. Five-year-old Loung and her family are middle class and educated but these must be hidden as the family escapes their home along with the rest of the town. They flee to escape the Khmer Rouge soldiers, first staying with uncles in the country and then moving on when things get too dangerous. Loung's father is taken away by the soldiers; the family never sees him again. Family members are separated as the children are sent to work camps; starvation, cruelty and death dog them everywhere. The war experience hardens little Loung; intense hatred for Pol Pot and his soldiers keeps her alive. After four years, the Vietnamese move into Cambodia and push out the Khmer. Loung is reunited with her surviving siblings at a refugee camp. At book's end, she and older brother Meng and his wife gain sponsorship to go to America. They hope to be reunited with their siblings in five years.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I had no idea what life was like under the rule of Pol Pot. This was a very sad, but fascinating life story. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I had no idea what life was like under the rule of Pol Pot. This was a very sad, but fascinating life story. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I found this to be a startlingly powerful memoir of Ms Ung's childhood experiences. Sadly I went in knowlng precious little about the atrocities the people suffered under the Khmer Rouge, but this book has inspired me to remedy that.

I enjoyed the present tense telling of the story, it made me feel like I was along for the ride. This book has stayed with me, and given me new perspectives on refugees. ( )
  flyheatherfly | May 27, 2015 |
Great Read. Fascinated by the goings on in Cambodia at this time. This lady moved from village to village to hide her identity. would definitely read again ( )
  Tony2704 | Mar 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Fronm 1975-1979-through execution, starvation, disease, and forced labor-the Khmer Rouge systematically killed an estimated two million Cambodians, almost a fourth of the country's population. This is a story of survival: my own story mirrors that of millions of Cambodians. If you had been living in Cambodia during this period, this would be your story too.
Dedication
In memory of the two million people who perished under the Khmer Rouge regime. This book is dedicated to my father, Ung; Seng Im, who always believed in me; my mother, Ung; Ay Choungm who always loved me. To my sisters Keav, Chou, and Geak because sisters are forever; my brother Kim, who taught me about courage; my brother Khouy, for contributing more than one hundred pages of our family history and details of our lives under the Khmer Rouge, many of which I incorporated into this book; to my brother Meng and sister-in-law Eang Muy Tan, who raised me (quite well) in America.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Phnom Penh City erwacht früh, um die kühle Morgenbrise zu nutzen, bevor die Sonne durch den Dunst bricht und die Hitze in das Land einfällt.
Quotations
Phnom Penh city wakes early to take advantage of the cool morning breeze before the sun breaks through the haze and invades the country with sweltering heat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed. Harrowing, yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and llove in the face of unspeakable brutality.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060856262, Paperback)

Written in the present tense, First They Killed My Father will put you right in the midst of the action--action you'll wish had never happened. It's a tough read, but definitely a worthwhile one, and the author's personality and strength shine through on every page. Covering the years from 1975 to 1979, the story moves from the deaths of multiple family members to the forced separation of the survivors, leading ultimately to the reuniting of much of the family, followed by marriages and immigrations. The brutality seems unending--beatings, starvation, attempted rape, mental cruelty--and yet the narrator (a young girl) never stops fighting for escape and survival. Sad and courageous, her life and the lives of her young siblings provide quite a powerful example of how war can so deeply affect children--especially a war in which they are trained to be an integral part of the armed forces. For anyone interested in Cambodia's recent history, this book shares a valuable personal view of events. --Jill Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:08 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Loung Ung, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official in Phnom Penh, tells of her experiences after her family was forced to flee from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army, discussing her training as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, and telling of how her surviving siblings were eventually reunited.… (more)

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