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When Broken Glass Floats: Growing up under the Khmer Rouge
     

When Broken Glass Floats: Growing up under the Khmer Rouge

4.6 24
by Chanrithy Him
 

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ISBN-10: 0393322106

ISBN-13: 9780393322101

Pub. Date: 04/28/2001

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."
In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the

Overview

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."
In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields." In a mesmerizing story, Him vividly recounts a Cambodia where rudimentary labor camps are the norm and technology, such as cars and electricity, no longer exists. Death becomes a companion at the camps, along with illness. Yet through the terror, Chanrithy's family remains loyal to one another despite the Khmer Rouge's demand of loyalty only to itself. Moments of inexpressible sacrifice and love lead them to bring what little food they have to the others, even at the risk of their own lives. In 1979, "broken glass" finally sinks. From a family of twelve, only five of the Him children survive. Sponsored by an uncle in Oregon, they begin their new lives in a land that promises welcome to those starved for freedom.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393322101
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
168,708
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments9
Family Tree11
Preface: A Seed of Survival13
1A Heavenly Comet Foreshadows War27
2B-cinquante-deux38
3A Grain of Rice on a Dog's Tail45
4When Broken Glass Begins to Float54
5There Are No Good-byes75
6Worse Than Pigs106
7Remnants of Ghosts123
8When the Owl Cries154
9Now I Know the Answer175
10The Spirit of Survival201
11A Promise216
12Though a Virgin, I'm Called an Old Man226
13Mass Marriage and a Forbidden Love240
14When Broken Glass Sinks248
15A Letter251
16The Exodus262
17The New Camp271
18Khao I Dang Camp284
19Sakeo II Camp295
20Philippine Refugee Processing Center310

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When Broken Glass Floats 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
info-junkie More than 1 year ago
This is, without a doubt, the saddest book I have ever read. It moved me to tears again and again. Not only did I feel Ms. Him's pain, I began to appreciate just how little the average American knows of this period in recent history. A moving tribute to courage and survival. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I under estimated the book at first. The quintessential of amazing. I am very picky and do not often recommend books. I have never cried so much it's sad, but is worth your time. It gives you a refreshing appreciation for family and life in general. This is a book you should read before leaving earth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975, they subjected the gentle people of Cambodia to one of the most cruel tyrannies in all history. These false idealists sent even small children to forced labor camps, and killed nearly 1/3 of the entire population. The author and her family were repeatedly sent to several of the camps. Her father, mother, and kid brother perished. The author and several siblings survived, but just barely. Ms. Him recounts their suffering and survival in harrowing detail. What happened in Cambodia 1975-79 shows that the dreams of madmen are the nightmares of ordinary, decent people. As Russian author Igor Shafarevich has said, 'The triumph of socialism would not mean the withering away of the state rather, it would mean the withering away of mankind.' That's just about what happened in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before visiting Cambodia for the first time, I read this book along with a guide book and a book on the history of the country. This was the one that truly prepared me for experiencing the wonderful country of Cambodia, though. In the telling of her story, the author communicates a profound understanding of Cambodian culture, which differs greatly in many aspects from western culture, while also showing the universality of the human spirit in its best and worst forms. I felt connected to her and the people of Cambodia after reading this book even though I have never experienced anything remotely similar in my life. I will hopefully never be able to fully comprehend the horror that they had to live through, but this story serves as a lesson for all humanity on what is truly important in life. This is in some ways another Diary of Anne Frank. I recommend everyone to read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The story of how the author had such a huge loving and committed family was important to understanding the genocide that took many of her most beloved away from her. I think this book is an excellent read and informative for anyone not familiar with the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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J-WURTZLER More than 1 year ago
Completely heartbreaking account of what went on during the Khmer Rouge. If you are interested in Cambodia, war, Khmer Rouge, this is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my english class in 8th grade. I read it in a small group right after reading Night by Eli Wessil. I would not recomend that you do that. I had already cried everey day for about a month and this book was just as powerful. I thought it was well written and very good but it definatley makes one kind of depressed. Once you read this book and learn from it read something thats just downright fediculus like the hitch hikers guide to the univers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read so many books about Cambodia. This one is not that much different many others. However, a personal account of life and death alone deserve a place in history. The courageous act to write this book may help many others like myself to heal a deep anger against that evil unemagineable acts of Khmer Rouge regime.
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A shuttering story exposing genocide and torture throughout the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. This novel awaken feelings of appreciation and thankfulness in one's life and exposes the shadows in which pain hides. I enjoyed the fact that Ms. HIm uncovers the horrors that lurk in this world, whether it was in the past or is now in the present. There was nothing wrong with this book. You should definitely give it a read if you have any interest in a provocative work that makes you ponder life while producing history. GREAT READ!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing...transporting you back into time to describe the torment and family loss under the Khmer Rouge. A must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book that gets you so involved and opens your eyes to so much, like this book does. I have never read so much richness in a book before. Although the beginning drags a little it picks up right after that. I love this book it is a definite read, a 'must have' if you will, it truly is my guilty pleasure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very honest and heartbreaking, I never knew much about Cambodia until I read it. She did an amazing job.