From a childhood survivor of Cambodia's brutal Pol Pot regime comes a narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit. Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. While her mother worried that she was a troublemaker, 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 and their former life of privilege.
Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Because Loung was resilient and determined, she was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while her other brothers and sisters were sent to labour camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia and destroyed the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were finally reunited. Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother and the vision of the others, and sustained by her sister's gentle kindness amid brutality, Loung forged on to create for herself a new life.
About the Author
Loung Ung's debut memoir, First They Killed My Father, was an international bestseller. It is now being made into a film which will be co-written and directed by Angelina Jolie Pitt. Loung Ung is also the author of After They Killed Our Father : A refugee from the killing fields reunites with the sister she left behind. As an author, lecturer, and activist, she has dedicated twenty years to promoting equality, human rights, and justice in her native land and worldwide. She has lectured widely to schools, universities and corporations on Cambodia, child soldiers, women and war, and landmines.
She currently lives in the US.
"So sharp with pain that when I read it, the words plunged into me like a knife" - Jon Swain Sunday Times
"There can be absolutely no doubt about the innate power of [Ung's] story, the passion with which she tells it or its enduring importance" - Washington Post Book World
"Ung's memoir should serve as a reminder that some history is best not left just to historians but to those left behind when the terror ends" - Booklist
"I was deeply affected by Loung's book. It deepened my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it" -Angelina Jolie Pitt