memoirs

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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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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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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Lulu in the Sky by Loung Ung

Concluding the trilogy that started with the bestselling memoir First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung describes her college experience and her first steps into adulthood, revealing her struggle to reconcile with her past while moving forward towards happiness. After the violence of the Khmer Rouge and the difficult assimilation experience of a refugee, Loung’s daily struggle to keep darkness, anger, and depression at bay will finally find two unexpected allies: the empowering call of activism, and the redemptive power of love.

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Reflections of a Khmer Soul by Navy Phim

A lyrical journey of self-acceptance as the author questions and comes to term with the Killing Fields and other genocides. This journey involves traveling inside oneself and to a distant past to discuss what it means to be Khmer, a hyphenated American, and different misconceptions about Cambodians and Cambodia, a place that still haunts and inspires her.

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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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Lucky Child by Loung Ung

After enduring years of hunger, deprivation, and devastating loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, ten-year-old Loung Ung became the "lucky child," the sibling chosen to accompany her eldest brother to America while her one surviving sister and two brothers remained behind. In this poignant and elegiac memoir, Loung recalls her assimilation into an unfamiliar new culture while struggling to overcome dogged memories of violence and the deep scars of war.

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