Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers” as Want to Read:
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Daughter of Cambodia #1)

by
4.31  ·  Rating details ·  21,292 Ratings  ·  2,008 Reviews
One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published June 30th 2011 by Tantor Media (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about First They Killed My Father, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jessica Kalenik Lounge nearly starves, loses multiple family members through the re-education attempts under the Khmer Rouge regime
Judy Lindow Yes, I'm reading this, am half way through, and have already decided to read 2 more of her books. It's hard to believe that the story is non-fiction.…moreYes, I'm reading this, am half way through, and have already decided to read 2 more of her books. It's hard to believe that the story is non-fiction. It reads to me more like historical fiction - in that it's engaging and hard to put down. A clinical recounting of just the facts would not relay the humanity of what happened. The book is hard to put down; it's hard to believe, and the amount of brutality, cruelty and suffering are mind numbing. It is however, hard to pick up for the same reasons. Who wants to know the horrors men are capable of? I've seen pictures and a documentary on the killing fields and quickly put what happened in the part of my brain that sorts items to forget vs. things to dwell on - and forgot. At the same time, I think everyone should read this story. The harder question is: Why? Why should everyone know this happened? That's the important question and answer. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Apple
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
There are some things left unlearned from history books. You can read about the Cambodian genocide from many other sources that will explain the facts and statistics in the traditional sterile style that historic texts usually take. You can actually witness the places and things that history has left behind. And then, you can dive into personal accounts of history; how humanity struggles to survive during some of its darkest hours.
While I am usually a sucker for auto/biographical works for the
...more
Kate
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On a recent trip to Cambodia I got to witness it's rich culture, lush landscapes and delicious, delicious food. At every turn I also saw the remnants of a painful past. I spent a hot afternoon walking through the Tuel Sleng Genocide Museum, having my breath taken away as I walked from room to room, each worse than the last. In one section of the former prison, I walked into a hastily made brick cell and felt so instantly claustrophobic I had to run out into the open air.The pictures, information ...more
Vanessa
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A riveting but harrowing account of a young Cambodian girl who's innocent idyllic childhood is swiftly obliterated by the invasion of the Khmer Rouge.

Loung at 5 years old and one of seven children shares her traumatic story of the 4 years spent under the terrifying Khmer Rouge reign trying to survive after her family are forced to flee their home in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh in 1975, it details all the devastating hardships from being forced to live in a labour camp, starvation, disease and
...more
Carol ☀ Walking in Sunshine
I visited SE Asia this year & visiting S-21 prison & the Killing Fields moved me more than anything else I saw.

& this book moved me more than anything else I read this year.

No child should suffer what Loung does and she doesn't flinch from telling things that show her in a less than favourable light - but if she hadn't been an extremely tough five year old, she would never have survived (view spoiler)
...more
Rebecca
I feel the need to explain why I ended up giving this one three stars. I expected to come out of this with no less than a four star review. Ung's suffering under the Khmer Rouge is long and both physically and mentally painful. I learned a lot about the Cambodian Genocide (at least from the point of view of a child). I always wanted to keep reading and was invested in her and her family's story. That being said, the pacing had me all over the place and the writing was... okay.

I felt a little lo
...more
Horace Derwent
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FOR ALL THOSE WHOM GOT TORTURED, INSULTED, PERSECUTED, RAPED AND SLAUGHTERED BY COMMUNISM THROUGHOUT THE NIGHTMARISH YEARS IN LIVING HELL ON EARTH

You know nothing about Cambodia if you don't read this book

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4882376/
Mandy

On Monday I finished reading First They Killed My Father which is the autobiographical story of a young girl's experiences during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.  I've read a lot of books like this and I usually find them uplifting but this book just made me sad.  In Rwanda, you see people's incredible resilience and determination to overcome the prejudices of the past.  When I read the story of the boy solider, A Long Way Gone, I was heartened by the knowledge that he had escaped that life

...more
Anastasia
Nov 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heart-breaking memoir. It was very difficult to read . . . but imagine how much harder it was to live it.
Kathi
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sandra Ottinger
Recommended to Kathi by: Saw it on B&N.com
I just finished reading this book - another one I had a hard time putting down - I read it in 3 days. I learned so much from this memoir which takes place, starting in April 1975 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At this point the Cambodian Civil War has not quite taken hold. The narrator of the story is a 5 year old girl, the 2nd to youngest in a family of 7 children. She comes from a rather well-off, very loving middle-class family who live in the capital of Cambodia; Phenom Penh. The 5 year old takes ...more
Betty Ho
Very often, when people are asked to recall genocides in 20th century, Jews Holocaust, Stalin's purge, Rwanda or the Cultural Revolution are the very first things come to mind. People rarely remember the Cambodia genocide (or they have never heard of) as it was always overshadowed by the Vietnam war with no or little media coverage. However, it doesn't mean this is any less painful. I admire Loung Ung for her dedication on telling the world what happened under the rule of Khmer Rogue.

I'm glad t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Stay Alive, My Son
  • When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge
  • Survival in the Killing Fields
  • Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors
  • When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace
  • The Gate
  • The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine
  • From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
  • The Lost Executioner: A Journey to the Heart of the Killing Fields
  • Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot's Secret Prison
  • The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War
  • Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
  • A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam
  • An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography
  • Do They Hear You When You Cry
  • The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79
  • War Child: A Child Soldier's Story
  • When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution
3028
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. Ung lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband.
More about Loung Ung...

Other Books in the Series

Daughter of Cambodia (3 books)
  • Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind
  • Lulu in the Sky: A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness
“I think how the world is still somehow beautiful even when I feel no joy at being alive within it. ” 95 likes
“In my heart I know the truth, but my mind cannot accept the reality of what this all means.” 24 likes
More quotes…