Synopses & Reviews
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 love in the face of unspeakable brutality.
"In Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt says nothing can compare with 'the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.' Loung Ung might disagree. Born to a middle-class Phnom Penh household, Ung suffered Cambodia's darkest years—the Khmer Rouge rule of 1975 to 1979, which left more than 1.5 million dead from starvation, disease, forced labor, and political execution. It is a genocide forgotten by many Americans, but Ung's first-person present-tense account resurrects this human tragedy. In 240 pages, Ung creates a vivid narrative about her family's survival, and as her title indicates, its losses. Ung's writing is clean and direct, the events painted in lucid, if sometimes horrifying detail. The little girl who comes to America at the end of this book is one we feel we know, a girl who has told us her story—an awful piece of history we'll never forget." Reviewed by Chris Gavaler, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
From a childhood survivor of the brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of tragedy and spiritual triumph. 8-page photo insert.
About the Author
Loung Ung is a national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World, a program of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. She is the author of Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind, and she lives with her husband in Ohio.