Short Book Review: First They Killed my Father by Loung Ung

SBR: First They Killed my Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers was another one of our Cambodia-trip picks. The description of life under Khmer Rouge and vivid and chilling. It feels almost insensitive to critique a book that details the personal experience of a horrifying genocide on its literary merit. But as a book reader, I can’t help it. The first-person account from the point of view of a little girl does not come across as authentic in the book. The thoughts are too complex and far-reaching (as if she could see a better future back then) under the circumstances. Those are definitely the author’s adult thoughts. And from some reviews I find online, the historical events, as well as her personal history, might have been changed slightly to fit into a narrative.

To read or not to read: Yes, even if only for its subject – life under Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

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