Biographical

Cambodian biographies - life, love, suffering and survival. Sad memoirs of the Pol Pot regime's destruction, the Khmer Rouge killing fields, refugee camps and the purging of those perceived to be a threat to the regime's rule. Remarkable tales of escape by extraordinary people and journeys to futures unknown.

The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea by Vannak Anan Prum with Ben and Jocelyn Pederick Featured

Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Vannak Anan Prum left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived in large part by honing his ability to tattoo his shipmates--a skill he possessed despite never having been trained in art or having had access to art supplies while growing up.

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Brother Number One by David Chandler Featured

In the tragic recent history of Cambodia—a past scarred by a long occupation by Vietnamese forces and by the preceding three-year reign of terror by the brutal Khmer Rouge—no figure looms larger or more ominously than that of Pol Pot. As secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) since 1962 and as prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea (DK), he has been widely blamed for trying to destroy Cambodian society.

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Short Hair Detention by Channy Chhi Laux Featured

In April 1975, Channy Chhi Laux was a happy thirteen-year-old girl who was excited to start a new school year. But as news reports announced that the Khmer Rouge was getting closer to taking control of Cambodia, Channy and her family were forced to relocate to Poipet, a border town to Thailand. From that point forward, Channy lived a life dictated by fear.

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The Sieve of Angkar by Sovannara Ky

This is a true account of what the author experienced when the Khmer Rouge revolutionary forces under Pol Pot took control of Cambodia in 1975. Swept from their industrious life of learning and enterprise in Phnom Penh, the Ky family was driven, along with millions of others, into the Cambodian countryside to fulfill Pol Pot's vision of a Communist, agrarian society.

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Writing for Raksmey by Joan Healy

Writing for Raksmey tells of the lives of six families who fled the aftermath of the Cambodian killing fields, were held in a crowded refugee camp at the border of their country, and then sent back to a nation still at war. The past is not spoken about but the struggles are not over and the sons and daughters of those who once were refugees sense mystery in their legacy and know it is important to them.

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Live to Tell by Sonita Zainal

Live to Tell is a gripping testimony from Sonita Zainal of bone true facts and emotional recollections; designed to show the world how even when only a young girl, from age five; for four years, with amazing grit and determination, she could endure and survive the horrendous Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia – eventually escaping through jungle infested landmines to United Nations refugee camps in Thailand.

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A Proper Woman by Thavry Thon

This is the true story of a young Cambodian woman who has challenged her country’s social and cultural norms throughout her life and as a consequence has become an ambassador for female empowerment. Growing up on an island in the Bassac River, removed from many of the conveniences of modern life and surrounded by traditional customs and thought, Thavry’s story is one of inspiration to females around the world.

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