Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind

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Harper Collins, Apr 12, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 268 pages
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When Loung Ung came to America in 1980 as a ten-year-old Cambodian refugee, she had already survived years of hunger, violence, and loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, a story she told in her critically acclaimed bestseller, First They Killed My Father. Now, in Lucky Child, Ung writes of assimilation and, in alternating chapters, gives voice to a genocide survivor she left behind in rural Cambodia, her older sister Chou.

Loung was the lucky child, the sibling Eldest Brother chose to take with him to America. The youngest and the scrappiest, she was the one he believed had the best chance of making it. Just two years apart, Chou and Loung had bonded deeply over the deaths of their parents and sisters. As they stood holding hands in their dusty village while the extended family gathered to say good-bye, they never imagined that fifteen years would pass before they would be reunited again.

With candor and enormous flair, Ung describes what it is like to survive in a new culture while surmounting dogged memories of genocide and the deep scars of war. Not only must she learn about Disney characters and Christmas trees to fit in with her classmates, she must also come to understand life in a nation of peace: that the Fourth of July fireworks are not bombs and that she doesn't have to hide food in her bed every night to make sure she has enough to eat. Her spunk, intelligence, and charisma win out, but Cambodia and Chou are always in her thoughts.

An accomplished activist and writer, Ung has now returned to Cambodia many times, and in this re-creation of Chou's life, she writes the story that so easily could have been hers. Both redemptive and searing, Lucky Child highlights the harsh realities of chance and circumstance and celebrates the indomitability of the human spirit.

 

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Contents

Welcome to America June 10 1980
3
Chou June 1980
14
Minnie Mouse and Gunfire July 1980
21
War in Peace August 1980
32
Hungry Hungry Hippos September 1980
42
Amahs Reunion September 1980
49
Square Vanilla Journal September 1980
57
Restless Spirit October 1980
70
Betrothed October 1985
143
Sweet Sixteen April 1986
154
A Peasant Princess July 1986
163
Write What You Know November 1986
173
part three RECONNECTING IN CAMBODIA
183
Flying Solo June 1989
185
A Motherless Mother December 1990
192
No Suzy Wong January 1991
201

Ghosts in Costume and Snow October 1980
77
A Child Is Lost November 1980
85
The First American Ung December 1980 part two DIVIDED WE STAND
91
Totally Awesome U S A March 1983
99
A Box from America August 1983
111
The Killing Fields in My Living Room June 1984
119
Living Their Last Wind April 1985
127
Sex Ed September 1985
135
Eldest Brother Returns June 1991
211
Seeing Monkey May 1992
222
Khouys Town 1993
238
Mas Daughters May 1995
246
Lucky Child Returns December 2003
256
Resources and Suggested Reading
267
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

An author, lecturer, and activist, Loung Ung has advocated for equality, human rights, and justice in her native land and worldwide for more than fifteen years. Ung lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband.

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