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When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge

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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 family remain loyal to one another, and she and her siblings who survive will find redeemed lives in America.


A Finalist for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

336 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2000

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About the author

Chanrithy Him

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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 for "giving voice to those who have none." Her writing appears in the book "Voices of Protest: Documents of Courage and Dissent," with the words of other icons of justice, such as Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, and Rachel Carson. Radio Sweden Channel One compared her memoir with books written by Imre Kertész, the 2002 Nobel Prize winner in literature and Holocaust concentration camp survivor. She was featured with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a film called "The Will To Live." Her words have been heard on the BBC, Al Jazeera, the Voice of America, Cambodian National TV, Australian radio and TV, and U.S. radio and television. She has been the keynote speaker at lecture halls in the U.S., Australia, Cambodia, Canada and Denmark.

In addition to speaking about her book, Chanrithy loves to perform a Khmer classical dance called "The Blessing Dance" for her audiences, as requested.

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