First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
by Loung Ung
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 ... Show synopsis 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.