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 Gate by Francois Bizot

In 1971 a young French ethnologist named Francois Bizot was taken prisoner by forces of the Khmer Rouge who kept him chained in a jungle camp for months before releasing him. Four years later Bizot became the intermediary between the now victorious Khmer Rouge and the occupants of the besieged French embassy in Phnom Penh, eventually leading a desperate convoy of foreigners to safety across the Thai border.

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When Broken Glass Floats by Chanrithy Him

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."

In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields."

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Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields by Dith Pran and Kim DePaul

This extraordinary book contains eyewitness accounts of life in Cambodia during Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979, accounts written by survivors who were children at the time. The book has been put together by Dith Pran, whose own experiences in Cambodia were so graphically portrayed in the film The Killing Fields. The testimonies related here bear poignant witness to the slaughter the Khmer Rouge inflicted on the Cambodian people.

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Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness by Milton Osborne

Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness is the first full-length English-language account of one of the most remarkable and controversial Asian leaders of the 20th century. This critical, unauthorised biography, gives due credit to the achievements of Norodom Sihanouk but also looks behind the myths of his claims to have ruled a 'fairytale kingdom' that was an 'oasis of peace'. In 1941 Norodom Sihanouk ascended the Cambodian throne, supported by the French with the intent that he be their puppet king.

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Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor

Nothing has shaped my life as much as surviving the Pol Pot regime. I am a survivor of the Cambodian holocaust. That's who I am," says Haing Ngor. And in his memoir, Survival in the Killing Fields, he tells the gripping and frequently terrifying story of his term in the hell created by the communist Khmer Rouge. Like Dith Pran, the Cambodian doctor and interpreter whom Ngor played in an Oscar-winning performance in The Killing Fields, Ngor lived through the atrocities that the 1984 film portrayed.

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To Destroy You is No Loss by JoAn D. Criddle

A documentary account of the treatment of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, written by a keen observor of character and events. Life changed radically for the 15-year-old narrator when the regime took control, turning lives and values upside down. Anyone with education was marked for death; the people of the cities were driven into the countryside to a life of forced agricultural labor under harsh conditions. Positions of responsibility were given to the uneducated and unskilled.

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