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Cambodian-Born Author Loung Ung On Resilience And Survival

Author Loung Ung was just five years old when communist revolutionaries known as the Khmer Rouge took control of her home country of Cambodia. Nearly a quarter of the population died in the ensuing genocide. But she survived, eventually making her way to Vermont. She recently returned to her alma mater to speak with students as part of Essex High School's Global Leadership Program. 

Ung's memoirs have become international best-sellers, and on Friday, May 18, she returned to Essex High School to speak with students in the school's new Global Leadership Program. The nearly 80 students had read her first book, First They Killed My Fatherwatched the 2017 film adaptation of the same name and researched the dark period in Cambodian history. 

https://youtu.be/ypx6G4dsuSo

Vermont Edition was invited to interview the Cambodian-American author during her visit to the school, where Ung discussed how she channeled her guilt from surviving the Khmer Rouge into her writing and activism, and talked about what she wishes she had known when she was a student at Essex High.

Broadcast on Wednesday, May 22, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Loung Ung reads from her first memoir, "First They Killed My Father," to the students at Essex High School.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR
/
VPR
Loung Ung reads from her first memoir, "First They Killed My Father," to the students at Essex High School.
Essex High freshman Cara Viglucci asks a question to Ung.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR
/
VPR
Essex High freshman Cara Viglucci asks a question to Ung.
Essex High junior Auggie Spagnuolo-Chawla asks a question to Ung.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR
/
VPR
Essex High junior Auggie Spagnuolo-Chawla asks a question to Ung.

Copyright 2018 Vermont Public Radio

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer, and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. Until March 2021, she was the host of the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition.
Originally from Delaware, he moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, as well as a radio producer, talk show host, and news director at stations across Alaska, where his reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he spent several months producing television news before joining WGCU as the Gulf Coast Live producer in August 2016.

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