First They Killed My Father
|First They Killed My Father|
US edition paperback cover
|Cover artist||Loung Ung, Mary Schuck|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is a 2000 nonfiction book written by Loung Ung, a Cambodian author and survivor of the Pol Pot regime. It is a personal account of her experiences during the Khmer Rouge years.
After a string of work camps, Loung and her family had almost grown used to the constant hunger and tiredness, the fear of and separation from every other member of their villages, and to hiding their emotions so as to not appear weak. Soon, Loung’s teenaged brothers, Khouy and Meng, and sister, Keav, were sent away to a different bong camps. Keav died shortly after her arrival from food poisoning, which was a common way to die. Then Loung’s father was taken away and killed. Loung’s mother forced Loung, her sister Chou, and her remaining brother Kim to run away, leaving herself and her baby daughter Geak behind. Loung and Chou, too afraid to split up as they had been ordered, arrived at a child work camp where they stayed together until Loung was sent to a different camp to be trained as a child soldier. Soon, Ma and Geak are assumed to be dead, because the soldiers "took them away."
Eventually, Loung, Meng, and Meng's wife Eang escape to Vietnam, then Thailand, then finally to America. Loung's life in America and her eventual return to Cambodia are chronicled in her second book, Lucky Child.