First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)

87%

9 Critic Reviews

Twenty-five years after the rise of the Khmer Rouge, this powerful account is a triumph.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

From a childhood survivor of Cambodia's brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable 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, Lounge 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 Lounge 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.

Because Lounge was resilient and determined, she was 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 vision of the others--and sustained be her sister's gentle kindness amid brutality--Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life.

 

About Loung Ung

See more books from this Author
An author, lecturer and activist, Loung Ung has advocated for equality, human rights, and justice in her native land and worldwide for more than fifteen years. Her memoir First They Killed My Father became a national bestseller and was the recipient of the 2001 Asian/Pacific American Librarians' Association award for "Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature" (APALA). Her second book, Lucky Child, was published to critical acclaim. Ung has been the subject of numerous television programs and documentary films and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, London Sunday Times, Biography, Glamour, Jane, and Ms. magazines and has made appearances on The Diane Rehm Show, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, Nightline and other news outlets. Ung lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Mark Priemer.
 
Published October 12, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for First They Killed My Father
All: 9 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 20 2010

Will affect even readers who cannot find Ung’s homeland on a map.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Richard Bernstein on Apr 19 2008

Both Ms. Him and Ms. Ung, who now live in the United States, tell their stories straightforwardly, vividly, and without any strenuous effort to explicate their importance, allowing the stories themselves to create their own impact.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Jan 31 2008

Twenty-five years after the rise of the Khmer Rouge, this powerful account is a triumph.

Read Full Review of First They Killed My Father: ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Story Circle Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Juanita Johnson on Jan 08 2008

First They Killed My Father is a grand testimony to the human spirit.

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BookDragon

Good
Reviewed by Book Dragon on Mar 10 2011

For someone who has experienced hell, Loung Ung is a bright, welcoming voice filled with inviting laughter.

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The Readers Cafe

Good
Reviewed by Veronica on Jun 17 2012

This is a book for history lovers, memoir lovers, and anyone who is willing to invest their emotions in a good book.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Joejen05 on Jun 01 2012

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a short easy yet entertaining read. It is an amazing book.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Samantha H on Jun 01 2012

She connects to the reader beyond her lack of eloquence; her sincere tale of human struggle allows the reader to form an intimate connection with herself and ultimately Cambodia.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jun 01 2012

First They Killed My Father is a powerful, moving story.

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Reader Rating for First They Killed My Father
87%

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