First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung
Loung Ung

First They Killed My Father

367 printed pages
Repackaged in a new tie-in edition to coincide with the Netflix film produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, a moving story of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her triumphant spirit as she survived the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot’s brutal regime.
Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—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, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited. Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the courage and sacrifices of the rest of her family—and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality—Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this story is truly unforgettable.

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b6666618268shared an impression2 months ago
💞Loved Up


Sharon Purslow
Sharon Purslowshared an impression23 days ago

"First They Killed My Father" is exceptionally and profoundly written. I found myself needing to take mental and emotional breaks from reading due to the overwhelming sorrow and angst I felt from reading the excerpts of this book. Ms. Ung takes you there along side everyone who experienced the genocide in Cambodia as if you were experiencing it yourself, picturing your loved ones walking the long walk to flee, the heat, the sweat, and such immense and unimaginable loss. My heart cries for those killed, for those who survived, and for those missing. I am so sorry. Thank you for writing this book. Well done.

b8450103301shared an impression3 months ago

Just starting, but it seems to be really mooving!


Waiters and waitresses in black-and-white uniforms swing open shop doors as the aroma of noodle soup greets waiting customers. Street vendors push food carts piled with steamed dumplings, smoked beef teriyaki sticks, and roasted peanuts along the sidewalks and begin to set up for another day of business
puts Geak down and holds up two bowls. She bends her head and shoulders so she is lower than the cook,
Ma says I stomp around like a cow dying of thirst. She’s tried many times to teach me the proper way for a young lady to walk. First, you connect your heel to the ground, then roll the ball of your feet on the earth while your toes curl up painfully. Finally you end up with your toes gently pushing you off the ground. All this is supposed to be done gracefully, naturally, and quietly. It all sounds too complicated and painful to me. Besides, I am happy stomping around.

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