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." In a mesmerizing story, Him vividly recounts a Cambodia where rudimentary labor camps are the norm and technology, such as cars and electricity, no longer exists. Death becomes a companion at the camps, along with illness. Yet through the terror, Chanrithy's family remains loyal to one another despite the Khmer Rouge's demand of loyalty only to itself. Moments of inexpressible sacrifice and love lead them to bring what little food they have to the others, even at the risk of their own lives. In 1979, "broken glass" finally sinks. From a family of twelve, only five of the Him children survive. Sponsored by an uncle in Oregon, they begin their new lives in a land that promises welcome to those starved for freedom.
On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh to open a new and appalling chapter in the story of the twentieth century. On that day, Pin Yathay was a qualified engineer in the Ministry of Public Works. Successful and highly educated, he had been critical of the corrupt Lon Nol regime and hoped that the Khmer Rouge would be the patriotic saviors of Cambodia. In Stay Alive, My Son, Pin Yathay provides an unforgettable testament of the horror that ensued and a gripping account of personal courage, sacrifice and survival. Documenting the 27 months from the arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh to his escape into Thailand, Pin Yathay is a powerful and haunting memoir of Cambodia's killing fields. With seventeen members of his family, Pin Yathay were evacuated by the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh, taking with them whatever they might need for the three days before they would be allowed to return to their home. Instead, they were moved on from camp to camp, their possessions confiscated or abandoned. As days became weeks and weeks became months, they became the "New People," displaced urban dwellers compelled to live and work as peasants, their days were filled with forced manual labor and their survival dependent on ever more meager communal rations. The body count mounted, first as malnutrition bred rampant disease and then as the Khmer Rouge singled out the dissidents for sudden death in the darkness. Eventually, Pin Yathay's family was reduced to just himself, his wife, and their one remaining son, Nawath. Wracked with pain and disease, robbed of all they had owned, living on the very edge of dying, they faced a future of escalating horror. With Nawath too ill to travel, Pin Yathay and his wife, Any, had to make the heart-breaking decision whether to leave him to the care of a Cambodian hospital in order to make a desperate break for freedom. "Stay alive, my son," he tells Nawath before embarking on a nightmarish escape to the Thai border. First published in 1987, the Cornell edition of Stay Alive, My Son includes an updated preface and epilogue by Pin Yathay and a new foreword by David Chandler, a world-renowned historian of Cambodia, who attests to the continuing value and urgency of Pin Yathay's message.
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. In alternating chapters, she gives voice to Chou, the beloved older sister whose life in war-torn Cambodia so easily could have been hers. Highlighting the harsh realities of chance and circumstance in times of war as well as in times of peace, Lucky Child is ultimately a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the salvaging strength of family bonds.
A blind man's vision: ancient royalty will reincarnate as a queen with supernatural gifts; her golden aura visible only to the spirit world.JD Bophatip is a lucky girl. Abandoned as a baby in a basket near a Cambodian temple, she was adopted and taken to America. Now seventeen, JD decides to enter the Queen of Rosaria competition, part of the Portland Rose Festival. It's a decision that will change her life. Enter Ryker Erickson: charming, enigmatic and irresistible. He is drawn to JD, captivated by her glowing aura. He's not the only one. Ryker and his family belong to a powerful circle of vampires with a vested interest in the human realm. A prophecy foretells that a golden queen will come to rule the vampire underworld. While Ryker falls for JD, his clan are plotting her destruction.Then there are the dreams. JD struggles to comprehend the meaning behind these potent prophetic visions. How are they linked to a mysterious gift of Sanskrit inscriptions and sacred jewels? JD must harness her emerging powers in time to fulfill her destiny and save her life.The first book of an exciting and unusual new series, "Rise of the Golden Aura" blends myth, folklore, suspense, loyalty and love.
Concluding the trilogy that started with her bestselling memoir, First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung illuminates her struggle to reconcile with her past while moving forward toward happiness. When readers first met Loung Ung in her critically acclaimed memoir First They Killed My Father, she was a young, innocent child in Cambodia. But forced by the Khmer Rouge into the life of a child soldier, she soon found herself locked in a desperate struggle for survival in Cambodia's notorious killing fields. In Lucky Child, her life took a turn. As a refugee in Vermont, she grappled with post-traumatic stress, cultural assimilation roadblocks, and the abandonment of her sister in Cambodia. Now, Lulu in the Sky tells the next chapter in Ung's life, revealing her daily struggle to keep darkness and depression at bay while she attends college and falls in love with Mark Priemer, a Midwestern archetype of American optimism. Lulu in the Sky is the story of Ung's tentative steps into love, activism, and marriage—a journey that takes her to a Cambodian village to reconnect with her mother's spirit, to a vocation focused on healing the landscape of her birth, and to the patience and unconditional support of a very special man.
The Years of Zero—Coming of Age Under the Khmer Rouge is a survivor's account of the Cambodian genocide carried out by Pol Pot's sadistic and terrifying Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. It follows the author, Seng Ty, from the age of seven as he is plucked from his comfortable, middle-class home in a Phnom Penh suburb, marched along a blistering, black strip of highway into the jungle, and thrust headlong into the unspeakable barbarities of an agricultural labor camp. Seng's mother was worked to death while his siblings succumbed to starvation. His oldest brother was brought back from France and tortured in the secret prison of Tuol Sleng. His family's only survivor and a mere child, Seng was forced to fend for himself, navigating the brainwashing campaigns and random depravities of the Khmer Rouge, determined to survive so he could bear witness to what happened in the camp. The Years of Zero guides the reader through the author's long, desperate periods of harrowing darkness, each chapter a painting of cruelty, caprice, and courage. It follows Seng as he sneaks mice and other living food from the rice paddies where he labors, knowing that the penalty for such defiance is death. It tracks him as he tries to escape into the jungle, only to be dragged back to his camp and severely beaten. Through it all, Seng finds a way to remain whole both in body and in mind. He rallies past torture, betrayal, disease and despair, refusing at every juncture to surrender to the murderers who have stolen everything he had. As The Years of Zero concludes, the reader will have lived what Seng lived, risked what he risked, endured what he endured, and finally celebrate with him his unlikeliest of triumphs.
Publisher Fact Sheet This extraordinary collection of eyewitness accounts by Cambodian survivors of Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s offers searing testimony to an era of brutality, brainwashing, betrayals, starvation, & gruesome executions.
Best known for his academy award-winning role as Dith Pran in "The Killing Fields", for Haing Ngor his greatest performance was not in Hollywood but in the rice paddies and labour camps of war-torn Cambodia. Here, in his memoir of life under the Khmer Rouge, is a searing account of a country's descent into hell. His was a world of war slaves and execution squads, of senseless brutality and mind-numbing torture; where families ceased to be and only a very special love could soar above the squalor, starvation and disease. An eyewitness account of the real killing fields by an extraordinary survivor, this book is a reminder of the horrors of war - and a testament to the enduring human spirit.
With only half a canteen of water and one baby bottle, a family of eight fought for their lives in the killing fields and land mines of Cambodia. Heroes emerge in the most unlikely places, under the most dangerous conditions. They are often the most ordinary of people facing extraordinary times. Surrounded by unimaginable adverse forces, one woman would ultimately lead her entire family to survive. Beautiful Hero is an autobiographical narrative told from a daughter's perspective. The story centers around Meiyeng, the eponymous Beautiful Hero, and her innate ability to sustain everyone in her family.Meiyeng's acumen in solving problems under extreme circumstances is thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. She shepherded her entire family through starvation, diseases, slavery and massacres in war-torn Cambodia to forge a new life in America.Over two million people--a third of the country's population--fell victim to a devastating genocide in Cambodia. The rise of the Khmer Rouge posed not merely a single challenge to survival, but rather a series of nightmarish obstacles that required constant circumvention, outmaneuvering, and exceptional fortitude from those few who would survive the regime intact.Beautiful Hero suspensefully unravels the layers of atrocity and evil unleashed upon the people, providing a clear view of this horrific and violent time of the Cambodian revolution.The story highlights the most basic impulses of man: good vs. evil, individual vs. group, democracy vs. tyranny, and life vs. death. It is the ultimate story of love, sacrifice, survival, and redemption--and lives pushed to the limits. It reaffirms the good in humanity by showing how one family lived and survived with grace and dignity.
The first memoir from a pre-Khmer Rouge government official who survived the Cambodian killing fields.
This memoir chronicles the incredible journey of a woman. Mao Sim tells how, as a young girl, she emerged a survivor of the Cambodian Genocide. Her struggles continued as she waded through a horrible arranged marriage as an abused wife. Mao dealt with nightmare after nightmare, while wrestling with understanding the senseless deaths of her loved ones.
"A rare and riveting first-hand account of the terror and torture inflicted by ISIS on young Iraqi Yazidi women, and an inspiring personal story of bravery and resilience in the face of unspeakable horrors. In the early summer of 2014, Farida Khalaf was a typical Yazidi teenager living with her parents and three brothers in her village in the mountains of Northern Iraq. In one horrific day, she lost everything: ISIS invaded her village, destroyed her family, and sold her into sexual slavery. The Girl Who Escaped ISIS is her incredible account of captivity and describes how she defied the odds and escaped a life of torture, in order to share her story with the world. Devastating and inspiring, this is an astonishing, intimate account of courage and hope in the face of appalling violence"--
While the United States battled the Communists of North Vietnam in the 1960s and '70s, the neighbouring country of Cambodia was attacked from within by dictator Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge imprisoned, enslaved, and murdered the educated and intellectual members of the population, resulting in the harrowing "killing fields"–rice paddies where the harvest yielded nothing but millions of skulls. Young Sichan Siv–a target since he was a university graduate–was told by his mother to run and "never give up hope!" Captured and put to work in a slave labor camp, Siv knew it was only a matter of time before he would be worked to death–or killed. With a daring escape from a logging truck and a desperate run for freedom through the jungle, including falling into a dreaded pungi pit, Siv finally came upon a colorfully dressed farmer who said, "Welcome to Thailand." He spent months teaching English in a refugee camp in Thailand while regaining his strength, eventually Siv was allowed entry into the United States. Upon his arrival in the U.S., Siv kept striving. Eventually rising to become a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Siv returned with great trepidation to the killing fields of Cambodia in 1992 as a senior representative of the U.S. government. It was an emotionally overwhelming visit.
Born into a devoutly Maoist family in 1950s Shanghai and forced to work on a communal farm from the age of seventeen, Anchee Min found herself in an alienating and hostile political climate, where her only friendships were perilous and intense. Both candid and touching, this compelling memoir documents her isolation and illicit love against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution. From her coming of age in the Red Guard to her recruitment into Madame Mao's burgeoning industry of propaganda movies, Red Azalea explores the secret sensuality of a repressive society with elegance and honesty.
In the three years, eight months, and twenty days of the Khmer Rouge's deadly reign over Cambodia, an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians perished as a result of forced labor, execution, starvation, and disease. Despite the passage of more than thirty years, two regime shifts, and a contested U.N. intervention, only one former Khmer Rouge official has been successfully tried and sentenced for crimes against humanity in an international court of law to date. It is against this background of war, genocide, and denied justice that Cathy J. Schlund-Vials explores the work of 1.5-generation Cambodian American artists and writers. Drawing on what James Young labels “memory work”—the collected articulation of large-scale human loss—War, Genocide, and Justice investigates the remembrance work of Cambodian American cultural producers through film, memoir, and music. Schlund-Vials includes interviews with artists such as Anida Yoeu Ali, praCh Ly, Sambath Hy, and Socheata Poeuv. Alongside the enduring legacy of the Killing Fields and post-9/11 deportations of Cambodian American youth, artists potently reimagine alternative sites for memorialization, reclamation, and justice. Traversing borders, these artists generate forms of genocidal remembrance that combat amnesic politics and revise citizenship practices in the United States and Cambodia. Engaged in politicized acts of resistance, individually produced and communally consumed, Cambodian American memory work represents a significant and previously unexamined site of Asian American critique.
From the internationally acclaimed director of S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, a survivor's autobiography that confronts the evils of the Khmer Rouge dictatorship Rithy Panh was only thirteen years old when the Khmer Rouge expelled his family from Phnom Penh in 1975. In the months and years that followed, his entire family was executed, starved, or worked to death. Thirty years later, after having become a respected filmmaker, Rithy Panh decides to question one of the men principally responsible for the genocide, Comrade Duch, who's neither an ordinary person nor a demon--he's an educated organizer, a slaughterer who talks, forgets, lies, explains, and works on his legacy. This confrontation unfolds into an exceptional narrative of human history and an examination of the nature of evil. The Elimination stands among the essential works that document the immense tragedies of the twentieth century, with Primo Levi's If This Is a Man and Elie Wiesel's Night.
A riveting account of exile from Turkish genocide, brought to light for the first time ever in Sano Halo's personal story Not Even My Name exposes the genocide carried out during and after WW I in Turkey, which brought to a tragic end the 3000-year history of the Pontic Greeks (named for the Pontic Mountain range below the Black Sea). During this time, almost 2 million Pontic Greeks and Armenians were slaughtered and millions of others were exiled. Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival, as told to her daughter, Thea, and of their trip to Turkey in search of Sano's home 70 years after her exile. Sano Halo was a 10-year-old girl when she was torn from her ancient, pastoral way of life in the mountains and sent on a death march that annihilated her family. Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, Sano was sold by her surrogate family into marriage when still a child to a man three times her age. Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children in New York City, and her transformation as an innocent girl who was forced to move from a bucolic life to the 20th century in one bold stride. Written in haunting and eloquent prose, Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual and group memory, evoking all the suspense and drama of the best told tales.
1979, Cambodia, Eastern Zone: Two comrades, twelve and fourteen, are RUNNING to get away from their infantry unit before the invading Vietnamese kill all of them. They reach the foot of a mountain - and disappear into the jungle. Neither of them has any food or water. They have no blankets, either, or protective clothing of any kind. They have no matches, no medicine, no maps, no money, no compass, no radio... they don't even know where they are. But these are the little problems. By getting themselves away from their unit and from the Vietnamese, they've put themselves right in between the two of them. IF they can squeeze out, they don't know the terrain and there's no way to get information - it's as though they've escaped to some lost planet. Their plan had been to get back to where they'd last seen their mothers, four years before. But they don't know if ANYONE in their families is still alive. Only one thing is clear - neither one of them will make it without the other. As they rest under a banyan tree they contemplate their chances. And suddenly, it's dark. Lang Srey was the younger of the two boys. He is one of only eight survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide to have written a book-length survivor's account (in English).
The inspiring story of an immigrant's struggles to heal old wounds in the United States, this is the sequel to When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, Le Ly Hayslip's extraordinary, award-winning memoir of life in wartime Vietnam. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A “masterful . . . brilliantly constructed novel” of love and chaos in 1950s Vietnam (Zadie Smith, The Guardian). It’s 1955 and British journalist Thomas Fowler has been in Vietnam for two years covering the insurgency against French colonial rule. But it’s not just a political tangle that’s kept him tethered to the country. There’s also his lover, Phuong, a young Vietnamese woman who clings to Fowler for protection. Then comes Alden Pyle, an idealistic American working in service of the CIA. Devotedly, disastrously patriotic, he believes neither communism nor colonialism is what’s best for Southeast Asia, but rather a “Third Force”: American democracy by any means necessary. His ideas of conquest include Phuong, to whom he promises a sweet life in the states. But as Pyle’s blind moral conviction wreaks havoc upon innocent lives, it’s ultimately his romantic compulsions that will play a role in his own undoing. Although criticized upon publication as anti-American, Graham Greene’s “complex but compelling story of intrigue and counter-intrigue” would, in a few short years, prove prescient in its own condemnation of American interventionism (The New York Times).