The Khmer Rouge Genocide


“Daughter of the Killing Field” Book review


 Author: Theary C. Seng
 Type of Book: Memoir


Daughter of the Killing Field is a stirring memoir of Theary C. Seng, a survivor form the Khmer Rouge regime. Theary was born in 1971 in the capital city, Phnom Penh. When the Khmer Rouge soldiers came to the Capital city and told everyone to evacuate, she moved to several different places and finally settled in Svay Rieng Provence with her family. However, she lost her father along the way as he was killed for being a Lon Nol soldier. In Svay Rieng, the border of Vietnam, she witnessed horrid killings, violence, the Vietnam War and she was even in prison for five months with her mother and siblings. In the end, her mother was torturously killed by the Khmer Rouge in prison. Afterwards, with the surviving members of her family, she traveled across the border of Thailand in Nov. 1979 with hardship. One year later, she was finally able to emigrate to the U.S.


Although the book was rather confusing to read since it wasn’t set in chronological order where her topics went back and forth in the beginning, it is very emotional and insightful. The ruthless imagery and hellish description within the book weaves in a sense of sorrow, anguish and pain to the readers. The agony that is eternally scarred within the author clearly translates through her writing, which is partly due to the striking and effective word choice. It is highly recommended to those who have been through the tormenting experience of the Khmer Rouge and simply anyone who aspires to know more about the Khmer Rouge and a grasp of a victim’s perspective on the subject matter.