Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back

Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back

by Katya Cengel
Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back

Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back

by Katya Cengel


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San Tran Croucher’s earliest memories are of fleeing ethnic attacks in her Vietnamese village, only to be later tortured in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge.

Katya Cengel met San when San was seventy-five years old and living in California, having miraculously survived the Cambodian genocide with her three daughters, Sithy, Sithea, and Jennifer. But San’s family’s troubles didn’t end after their resettlement in California. As a teenager under the Khmer Rouge, San’s daughter Sithy had been the family’s savior, the strong one who learned how to steal food to keep them alive. In the United States, Sithy’s survival skills were best suited for a life of crime, and she was eventually jailed for drug possession. U.S. immigration law enforces deportation of any immigrant or refugee who is found guilty of certain illegal activities, and San has hired a lawyer to fight Sithy’s deportation case. Only time will tell if they are successful.  

In Exiled Cengel follows the stories of four Cambodian families, including San’s, as they confront criminal deportation forty years after their resettlement in the United States. Weaving together these stories into a single narrative, Cengel finds that violence comes in many forms and that trauma is passed down through generations. With no easy answers, Cengel reveals a cycle of violence, followed by safety, and then loss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640120341
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 09/01/2018
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Katya Cengel is a freelance writer based in San Luis Obispo, California, and lectures in the Journalism Department of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She was a features and news writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal from 2003 to 2011 and has reported from North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, and Newsweek. She is the author of Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life (Nebraska, 2012).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Complete Cast of Characters
Part 1. Year Zero
1. The Diplomat and the Deportee
2. “It Was a Massacre”
3. The Mother
4. The Murderer
5. Sithy and Sithea
6. “It’s Not What You Think”
7. The Wife without a Husband
8. Stealing from the Dead
Part 2. Limbo
9. The Father
10. An Education in Silence
11. A Second Chance
12. The Medicine Man
13. Expired
14. “Not Home for the Holidays”
15. Never-Ending Nightmare
Part 3. Year of the Monkey
16. Two Cities Tangled Together
17. New Year, Same Past
18. Girlfriends
19. A Party at Oak Park
20. Judgment Day
Part 4. Years to Come
21. Blood-Killer
22. The Pastor
23. Friends and Family
24. Exile
25. Left Behind
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