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When Broken Glass Floats

Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge

Chanrithy Him (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

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 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.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2001
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32210-1
  • 5.5 × 8.2 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“A gut-wrenching story, told with honesty, restraint, and dignity.” — Ha Jin, author of Waiting

“Intelligent and morally aware…[Him] tells us what it was like to struggle to survive while others played out utopian dreams.” — New York Times

“An inspiring story that draws hope from horror.” — Seattle Times

“There are few books that give a refugee’s point of view as clearly and passionately as Him’s.” — Time Out

“Astonishing and heartbreaking…Written in spare, visual prose that makes the world it describes tangible.” — Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe

“A touching and illuminating human account and should not be missed by anyone around the world.” — Le Ly Hayslip, author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

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