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Lulu in the Sky: A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness Paperback – April 17, 2012


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Lulu in the Sky: A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness + Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind (P.S.) + First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062091913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062091918
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“You can’t help liking and admiring this young woman. . . . [A] lively, humorous account . . . when you arrive at the hard-earned happy ending, it’s with a sigh of deep relief.” (Washington Post)

“Loung Ung makes Lulu in the Sky shimmer with renewal after the Cambodian killing fields” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Ung’s writing is clear-headed, honest and compelling; much of what she describes, from the brutalities she and her family endured to the ways it steered her adult life, is deeply affecting.” (Kirkus)

From the Back Cover

Concluding the trilogy that started with her bestselling memoir, First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung illuminates her struggle to reconcile with her past while moving forward toward happiness.

When readers first met Loung Ung in her critically acclaimed memoir First They Killed My Father, she was a young, innocent child in Cambodia. But forced by the Khmer Rouge into the life of a child soldier, she soon found herself locked in a desperate struggle for survival in Cambodia's notorious killing fields. In Lucky Child, her life took a turn. As a refugee in Vermont, she grappled with post-traumatic stress, cultural assimilation roadblocks, and the abandonment of her sister in Cambodia.

Now, Lulu in the Sky tells the next chapter in Ung's life, revealing her daily struggle to keep darkness and depression at bay while she attends college and falls in love with Mark Priemer, a Midwestern archetype of American optimism. Lulu in the Sky is the story of Ung's tentative steps into love, activism, and marriage—a journey that takes her to a Cambodian village to reconnect with her mother's spirit, to a vocation focused on healing the landscape of her birth, and to the patience and unconditional support of a very special man.


More About the Author

Author, lecturer, and activist, Loung Ung has dedicated much of her life to promoting equality and human rights in her native land and worldwide. In recognition of her work, The World Economic Forum selected Loung as one of the "100 Global Youth Leaders of Tomorrow."

Loung's memoir, First They Killed My Father: a Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (HarperCollins 2000)is a national bestseller and recipient of the 2001 Asian/Pacific American Librarians' Association award for "Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature", and has been published in Khmer, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and other languages. She has appeared widely on news programs and other media. She is also the author of Lucky Child and Lulu in the Sky, both published by HarperCollins. she is now working on a novel.

Today, Loung has made over 30 trips back to Cambodia. When not working and traveling, she enjoys eating fried crickets and riding her tandem bike with her husband Mark. Together, they are partners/owners of a trio of restaurants and microbrewery--the Belgian Bier Markt, Bar Cento, and Market Garden Brewery--in Cleveland, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

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I would definitely recommend reading this memoir.
Laurel-rain
I was so hooked on this book I read the entire thing on the flight back.
Allen Lenton
I applaud Ms. Ung's courage to face her personal demons.
Bill Lee, Author

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Evans on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Lulu In The Sky" is the third installment by Loung Ung.
Her first novel "First They Killed My Father" tells of the atrocities of the Cambodian Genocide that started in the mid-1970s, harsh survival against all odds, and the loss of family & life as she knew it.
Her second novel, "Lucky Child" describes arriving to a foreign land and starting over. But starting over is not as easy as it seems. The painful loss and memories from Cambodia are still fresh and burned into her memory. Loung struggles to find herself, make friends, and please her brother and sister-in-law.

In "Lulu In The Sky" we see Loung move from victim to victim advocate. With the patient love and support of college boyfriend and future husband, Mark, she finds the courage to confront the evils of the past. No longer an awkward immigrant girl, Loung blossoms into a confident and strong voice for battered women, veteran soldiers, and eventually for Cambodia. With a pen and paper Loung exorcises ghosts of the past that have haunted her, tells the world about the Cambodia genocide, and keeps the memory of her parents and lost siblings alive.
"Lulu In the Sky" is a powerful novel, which showcases the human spirit's ability to overcome the unthinkable, the invaluable contributions that immigrants bring to secondary countries, and the power of love. A highly inspirational and memorable novel indeed!

*** On a side note, my in-laws are from Cambodia and experienced the Cambodian genocide firsthand. The following is a portion of text that I wrote to the author after reading her books:
"Loung, I am forever indebted to you.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Dobbins on March 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
“Probably to many in the world, this patch of earth was just another village among many small, dusty villages. And at first glance, like many small villages, it looked impoverished, crowded, and populated with thatched roof huts built on wooden stilts. But if visitors were to stay, if they learned to navigate around half-naked toddlers, squawking chickens, wandering pigs, and barking dogs to our psah, our outdoor market, and meet the people who called this place home, they would change their minds.”

A few months ago I read and reviewed Loung Ung’s excellent and heartbreaking memoir, First They Killed My Father. A refugee from Cambodia’s killing fields, Ung was a “lucky” member of her family, one of only a handful that were able to emigrate to the United States. As is revealed in Lulu in the Sky, Ms. Ung still had many obstacles to overcome in order to make peace with her past.

As you can tell from the first paragraph, Loung Ung has a gift for writing and story-telling. There is such a terrific sense of place in her writing, which is rich, warm and even humorous at times. Lulu in the Sky is the continuation of Ms. Ung’s story, beginning in her college years, when she tries hard to be the independent American girl. Unfortunately, her harrowing past continues to cause her to shy away from getting too close to people. Honest and forthright, Loung Ung’s memoir is an excellent look at one young woman’s journey from fear and alienation to courageous independence and finally, love.

This book is important not just for Ms. Ung’s personal story, but to make everyone aware of the horrors and after-affects of war. Given her talent, I sincerely hope she continues writing. Perhaps historical fiction will enable her to continue to be a voice for the millions who live in fear as a result of war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-rain on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned a lot about being a refuge in Cambodia and enjoyed the love story as well. I would definitely recommend reading this memoir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Lee, Author on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ms. Ung is a stellar writer as well as a great storyteller. I was not familiar with her previous work and stumbled upon "Lulu in the Sky." Loung is so talented in her craft that readers can start from any chapter in the book and become completely engrossed in her journey. She takes us to her native village in Cambodia very much like an accomplished tour guide. It doesn't take much effort to step into each scene. I applaud Ms. Ung's courage to face her personal demons. Any decent writer can describe their traumatic experiences; it takes a lot more skill -- not to mention courage -- to dissect their emotions and articulate them to the world.

Of course, this is also a story of the ten-year courtship of Lulu and Mark, the latter being the most patient and understanding partner I have heard of. Can you think of any boyfriend (or girlfriend) who can maintain hope for a future together when their partner keeps him a secret from her family for over a decade? Mark's unwavering love for Loung transcends her horrific childhood and timeline for healing.

Ms. Ung's interview from feminist.com that is included at the end of the book is insightful and includes great advice. She advises other authors writing about their violent and painful pasts to search, not only deep, but wide. For a full explanation, I encourage you to pick up a copy of "Lulu in the Sky." I'm off to read, "First They Killed My Father."

Chinese Playground : A Memoir
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