First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung
Loung Ung

First They Killed My Father

367 printed pages
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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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Sharon Purslow
Sharon Purslowshared an impressionlast year

"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.

b6666618268shared an impressionlast year
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b8450103301shared an impression2 years ago
👍Worth reading

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
. I marvel at how his toes and fingers grip the tree like a monkey.


Murderer! You deserve to die a slow, painful death!” someone yells.
That is what we have planned for him. I hope he knows his life is about to end. I hope he knows we are here because we want his blood and will soon rip him apart for it. People talk loudly about the best way to kill him. They argue about how to make the execution as drawn out and painful as possible. They discuss which tools to use to crack his skull, to slice his throat. Someone says we should let him sit in the sun, shave his skin open little by little, and rub salt into the wounds. Someone else wants to strangle him bare-handed. The discussion continues for a long time, but the people cannot agree on what to do.
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