Leaving the House of Ghosts: Cambodian Refugees in the American Midwest

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McFarland, Aug 26, 2002 - 223 páginas
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On April 17, 1975, after five years of civil war, the Khmer Rouge guerrillas invaded Cambodia’s major cities and forced the residents on a mass exodus to the countryside. Their leader, Pol Pot, established a government based on terror to bring about his dream of an agrarian society where work was done by hand—without what he believed to be corruptive influences. By the time the Vietnamese captured Phnom Penh and ended this brutal experiment in communism in 1979, an estimated two million Cambodians were dead and hundreds of thousands had begun to flee the country for refugee camps in Thailand. Survivors of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge now living in the Midwest tell their stories in this work. Many of them were children during that time, unable to comprehend exactly what was happening and why, but now able to reveal the trauma they experienced. Noeun Nor and Sinn Lok recollect being wrenched from their families and put into labor camps around the age of five. Prum Nath talks about her mother encouraging her to eat the last grains of her family’s rice. Sokhary You remembers giving birth on a mountain without a doctor or hospital and using rusty scissors to cut the umbilical cord.
 

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Contenido

Introduction
1
The Cambodian Autogenocide and Its Aftermath
5
The Story of Noeun Nor
12
The Weaker Brother
27
The Story of Sinn Lok
35
Crappie Fishing on Galpin Lake
47
The Story of Prum Nath
52
Why Do Some Survive?
64
The Next Generation
117
The Story of Samantha Samreth
124
Housewarming
140
The Story of Sarith Ou
148
To Go Forward
158
The Story of Sophea Mouth
164
Coming Full Circle
187
A Chronology
197

The Story of Sam and Sokhary You
71
That Ordinary Monster Pol Pot
94
The Story of Sokkhom Ngep
103

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Sarah Streed has written for various journals and reviews and has taught writing, most recently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently lives in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

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