First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father

A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

Book - 2017
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From a childhood survivor of the Camdodian genocide under the regime of Pol Pot, this is a riveting narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit--now a Netflix film by Angelina Jolie.

Repackaged in a new tie-in edition to coincide with the Netflix film produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, a moving story of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her triumphant spirit as she survived the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot's brutal regime.

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker--that she stomped around like a thirsty cow--her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung's family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited.

Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the courage and sacrifices of the rest of her family--and sustained by her sister's gentle kindness amid brutality--Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this story is truly unforgettable.

Publisher: HarperCollins 2017
ISBN: 9780062561305
Characteristics: 288 p.


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debwalker Aug 06, 2017

Powerful story from a terrible place and time I know little of. Coming on Netflix.

Jul 17, 2016

Excellent, excellent book and such an eye opener as to events that occurred and affected those living under Pol Pot during this time. Could not put it down.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

This is the true story of the lives of one family, during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, in the years 1975 to 1979. Loung Ung begins by telling us about the life they were leading in Phnom Penh prior to the Khmer Rouge takeover. Then, the Khmer Rouge terror begins. A quarter of the population of Cambodia were killed during the reign of Pol Pot, and Loung Ung shares with us the process of starvation, disease, execution and forced labour imposed upon the population of Cambodia. Her story is wrenching and heartfelt.

ChristchurchLib May 21, 2013

"Chronicles the brutality of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, from the author's forced "evacuation" of Phnom Penh in 1975 to her family's subsequent movements from town to town and eventual separation." May 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter

Sep 13, 2012

promoted as true memories, but is, actually, a highly ficticious account that paints a false picture of Khmer Culture and History.
makes for a good read, once you know it's 80% fantasy.
[her 'saintly' dad went from being a monk who 'swept the path in front to not step on bugs' to working for the Prince's Secret police, known for their Death Squads; then he morphed into a very wealthy Police Major in the Regime that toppled the Royals.

Mar 25, 2012

gut-wrenching; a definite read!

Feb 02, 2011

This is an amazing book!! One of my faves!!


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