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Zolang glasscherven drijven: een jong meisje groeit op tijdens het schrikbewind van de Rode Khmer

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,228 ratings  ·  382 reviews
In a mesmerizing story, Chanrithy Him vividly recounts her trek through the hell of the "killing fields." She gives us a child's-eye view of a Cambodia where rudimentary labor camps for both adults and children are the norm and modern technology no longer exists. Death becomes a companion in the camps, along with illness. Yet through the terror, the members of Chanrithy's ...more
334 pages
Published 2001 by Tirion (first published April 1st 2000)
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Start your review of Zolang glasscherven drijven: een jong meisje groeit op tijdens het schrikbewind van de Rode Khmer
Christina Stind
Normally, I can't wait to get to bed. I can't wait to lie in bed and read. The house is quiet, the kids are asleep, the tv is off - just quality time with a book. But when reading this book, reading wasn't always pleasant. This is really not a book you read to to enjoy it or to be pulled into another world and explore it. I read this in part because my boyfriend recommended it, in part because we sponsor a child in Cambodia and in part because I didn't know much about the Khmer Rouge and wanted ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir was a heart wrenching account of what it was like to live under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Him's account starts when she was a child living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She goes onto describe the mass "evacuation" of her city and being placed in a labour camp. She also goes onto describe the conditions of the camps, starvation, the loss of loved ones, and the other horrors she faced.

If you read this memoir, it can help to put current refugee events into perspective. Also, make sure you have
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In preparation for our trip to Cambodia and the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh I read three books: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung, and When Glass Floats by Chanrithy Him. Each of the three books was about a young girl who, with their families, suffered under the Khmer Rouge communist regime and their genocide campaign.

The Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh, its last obstacle to ruling all of Cambodia, on April 17th, 1975. They turned t
Books Ring Mah Bell
This book is so depressing it would make Pollyanna eat a gun.

However, it was incredibly powerful and moving. I put the book down a few times, refusing to pick it up again. I skimmed some of the more awful parts (3 year old brother dying, pregnant woman being slaughtered) and was rewarded with one simple thing: this woman survives and comes out tough and compassionate. She manages to rise above where others crumble...

Woman Reading
One of many Cambodian stories that need to be heard. 3.5 stars

Spurred by my first visit to Cambodia and to 4 other Southeast Asian countries earlier this year, I returned home dissatisfied by my own ignorance. Despite taking an Advanced Placement History course in high school, my main takeaway from the Vietnam War was that my country’s involvement was motivated by the Domino Theory of containment to stop the spread of Communism. I didn’t know until my visit that the US military had also been act
Lena Lang
I think people are generally reluctant to give this book a low rating due to it's subject matter. Seeing as how the author actually experienced the atrocities she described it would be a pretty low blow to critique a book that is essentially her story as she experienced it.
However it needs to be said that the writing was pretty juvenile. The dialogue is really stilted and the characters were pretty undeveloped. A really complex situation was pretty much boiled down to bad guys vs good guys with
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Broken Glass Floats🍒🍒🍒🍒🍒
By Chanrithy Him

This memoir begins before the rise of the Khymer Regime, when the US government and China government both played significant roles in the Khymer regime, before the beginning of the genocide.
When Khymer Rouge took control of Phnon Phen on April 17, 1975, they evacuated or killed entire cities, forcing those that could escape, into the countryside.
"Night stretches into day. The revolution of the train wheels on the track sing me to sleep, then I wa
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cambodia
This turned out to be one of the very best personal accounts of survival during the Pol Pot Regime. I've read eight others, mostly by women who were children or in their early teens at the time. Chanrithy Him's prose is smooth and engrossing--after the first chapter, which was hard to get through, full of angry bitterness over her experiences; perfectly understandable, but it doesn't draw the reader in, just establishes a barrier. After this, however, she warms up to her subject and paints a vib ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story illustrating the strength of the human spirit and the will to live and thrive against all odds. Chanrithy Him effectively loses her childhood when her home is bombed as a small child by the Khumer Rouge and her family is thrown into the middle of war-torn Cambodia, struggling to stay together and to survive. Hers is an amazing firsthand account of the horrors of slavery, execution, starvation and disease her family went through in a relatively modern era of the 70s. The cli ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty clueless about the Cambodian genocide under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. We were headed to Cambodia a few years ago and a friend suggested this book. Don't read this book in public. I wept like a baby when I read of the torture and loss of this sweet little girl. She is actually close to my age and has lived many lives. I came away from this book not only educated, but grateful, sad, disgusted and amazed at the will to live. God does hear our prayers. Chanrithy writes with such powe ...more
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One can read history - names and dates and numbers - but to truly understand, it is better to get into the lives of those who lived that history. This book does that.
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This book provided a very real, raw insight into the travails of this nation and the terrible suffering of its people. What occurred was horrendous yet the endurance and tenacity of the people who were 'enslaved' to survive incredible. I want to read more books on this subject now after reading When Broken Glass Floats. It is just by chance that I was born and have lived a life in country's at peace. To create a more empathic world, we need to understand war and violence. Hopefully we will reali ...more
Missy J
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
"Chea, how come good doesn't win over evil? Why did the Khmer Rouge win if they are bad people?"

Chea answered: "Loss will be God's, victory will be the devil's." When good appears to lose, it is an opportunity for one to be patient, and become like God. "But not very long, p'yoon srey [younger sister]," she explained, and referred to a Cambodian proverb about what happens when good and evil are thrown together into the river of life. Good is symbolized by klok, a type of squash, and evil by armb
This book started off slow but really picked up. Chanrithy's riveting account of surviving the killing fields of Cambodia and living under the Khmer Rouge kept me turning the pages, holding my breath, and praying that every person in her family makes it out alive. Sadly this is not the case. Throughout her story she loses her father, mother and half her siblings through awful circumstances. The Him family is driven from their home, starved, forced into hard labor camps that benefits the Khmer. L ...more
JJ Marsh
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book detailing a child’s survival in 1970 Cambodia is not a novel. Highs and lows orchestrated by the author are absent here. This is not a feel-good story. It is a stark revelation of what it meant to be a child under one of the most ruthless regimes in Asia.

This is the early 70s, when Cambodia became an experiment in radical socialism, and the Khmer Rouge took power and attempted to return the country to its 'pure', peasant history. Intellectuals were persecuted, farmers lauded and the entir
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heavy and depressing, not many books make me cry. Still I could not put it down. If you really want to know more about life under the Khmer Rouge and the genocide that occurred in the 70s, read this book.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
Definitely just cried as I read this. It tugged at my mom heart and this was absolutely tragic. But if you don't know about the Cambodian Genocide that happened after the Vietnam war, READ THIS BOOK. But have tissues and if you have kids in your life, hug them just a little bit closer. ...more
Nicole P
A heart wrenching, captivating personal account about the Khmer Rouge. Him's account of her and her family's life under the Pol Pot regime was vivid, extraordinary and brutal. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions and cried. A definite must read. ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
The Khmer Rouge seizure of Cambodia in 1975 began a period of horrific cruelty and death. Pol Pot's regime evacuated families from Phnom Penh, forcing them into the countryside into forced labor camps and makeshift villages where they were starved, beaten and more often than not executed for even the smallest disobedience. The author was 10 years old when her world violently fell apart, beginning the execution of her father. Before she was even 16, her mother was thrown into a well and she had l ...more
It's difficult to write a review for this book as the subject matter moves me almost beyond words. I've visited Cambodia twice now; seen firsthand the devastation that the Khmer Rouge left on this country. I've walked the killing fields, seen the sunken pits (newly exhumed mass graves), the execution trees, the piles of bones and skulls. I've heard personal stories of families affected by the KR--what devastation and destruction that part of history brought an entire culture. It's a part of hist ...more
I've been on a reading kick of refugee/war/holocaust surveyors that are still inspiring. This is the third book I've read in about four days on this topic. What I never realized was how modern parts of Cambodia were before the Khmer Rouge took over. These people were just like us.

When Thy talks about having to wade into a river the first time in order to fish for food, she talks about how squeamish she was. For the longest time, they kept thinking that things were going to go back to normal. It
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s difficult to encapsulate the experience of reading this book.

I had to frequently remind myself the child that is now the author would survive to write her story.

This is not as sterile as the summary might suggest.

It’s gritty, painful and often heart breaking.

It’s important.

I chose this title because I wanted to understand how the Khmer Rouge had gained power, manipulated the media and information stream and how they convinced one part of the population to hate and oppress the other.

Wow, what a brutal book. I certainly hope that telling her story helped Ms. Him to deal with and process the memories of this terrible time that she lived through. I feel I must applaud her for being so honest about the things she experienced and saw without allowing her narrative to descend to the level of melodrama, as many of these type of memoirs do.

I had not known much about the history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge before reading this book -- for most Americans, I think the events that w
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since "The Hunger Games" trilogy I haven't read a book that I have a hard time putting down until I read "When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge". After reading this memoir I've thought about asking my parents, mainly my father if he would be willing to share with me about their life during that era. A subject I have avoided for so long and have only heard bits and pieces of. At 33 and after reading this I felt as if I ought to at least know what my parents had to go through ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to read. Not because the reading was challenging but because the subject matter was emotionally jarring. It is hard to imagine anyone having to go through everything that the author did. It is also easy to imagine people that are currently suffering similar situations around the world. The good news is that the author and most of her family came out of the ordeal with a much better life. It is inspiring and depressing.

A first hand account of life under the Khmer Rouge.
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memoir written by a woman who grew up (age 9-16) during the years the Khmer Rouge came to power and ruled Cambodia. It was not as gruesome as I feared it might be given the subject. It is the story of her and her family's experiences, and it certainly describes the suffering and tragedies that befall them, but it's also about survival, the human spirit and the ties that bind families to endure hardships I still can't imagine having the strength to endure. ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brutal. Just brutal. Couldn't do justice to even try to define the astonishing display of resilience demonstrated by Thy, her siblings, and basically anyone who survived the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. Exquisitely sad, yet oddly uplifting, my only complaint was a desire for it to last longer and contain more details of Thy's post-Cambodian life. A definite tear jerker, but perspective building at its grandest level. A must read for anyone unfamiliar with this part of history. ...more
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humans can triumph out of the most horrific conditions. Reading this made me think that if people who survived the horror of the Khmer Rouge occupation in Cambodia could continue moving forward in their lives, then so can I.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, life-changing, historical fiction. Cambodia, Khmer Rouge, and it's impact on ordinary citizens. I felt like I was experiencing the pain, and the numbness of their lives, it was that well-written. What a contrast to my American experience.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart-breaking, and ultimately hopeful, but there is a lot of pain on the way there.

It won an Oregon book award in 2003, and it covers events that happened in the 60s and 70s, but it is still terribly relevant.
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Born in Takeo Province and now lives in Portland, Oregon, Chanrithy Him is a child survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide. She is an international speaker, Human Rights activist and author of the widely acclaimed, award-winning memoir, "When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge" (Norton).

In 2004 she received a personal thank-you letter from Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright

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Let's face it: Being cooped up inside during the pandemic has left a lot of us searching for a sense of connection with one another. Memoirs...
27 likes · 5 comments
“There is a story about the life of Buddha in which a mother carries her dead son to him draped in her arms. The woman has heard that he is a holy man who can restore life. Weeping, she appeals for mercy. Gently, Buddha tells her that he can help save her son’s life, but that first she has to bring him a mustard seed secured from a family that has never experienced death. Desperately she searches home after home. Many want to help, but everyone has already experienced a loss--a sister, a husband, a child. Finally the woman returns to Buddha. “What have you found?” he asks. “Where is your mustard seed and where is your son? You are not carrying him.”
“I buried him,” she replies”
“The cost of war is a lifelong legacy borne by children.” 5 likes
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