- Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 200mm x 20mm | 222g
- Publication date: 1 March 2007
- Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
- ISBN 10: 1840185198
- ISBN 13: 9781840185195
- Illustrations note: 1 x 8pp b/w
- Sales rank: 7,082
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 being cheeky to her parents. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Loung's family fled their home and were eventually forced to disperse to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier while her brothers and sisters were sent to labour camps. The surviving siblings were only finally reunited after the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia and started to destroy the Khmer Rouge. Bolstered by the bravery of one brother, the vision of the others and the gentle kindness of her sister, Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. First They Killed My Father is an unforgettable book told through the voice of the young and fearless Loung. It is a shocking and tragic tale of a girl who was determined to survive despite the odds.
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Loung Ung has lectured widely to schools, universities and corporations on Cambodia, child soldiers, women and war, and landmines. She currently lives in the US.
By Wendy SEKULOFF 18 May 2014
A powerful memoir by Ung retelling her experiences as a child during the regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia. These atrocities just should never have happened, but they did.
How glad I am that Ung had the strength to tell her story. I recommend it.
"So sharp with pain that when I read it, the words plunged into me like a knife" -- Jon Swain Sunday Times "There can be absolutely no doubt about the innate power of [Ung's] story, the passion with which she tells it or its enduring importance" Washington Post Book World "Ung's memoir should serve as a reminder that some history is best not left just to historians but to those left behind when the terror ends" Booklist