The Stones Cry Out
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The Stones Cry Out

A Cambodian Childhood, 1975-1980
Molyda Szymusiak
Translated by Linda Coverdale
Distribution: World
Publication date: 4/1/1999
Format: paper 264 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-21291-7
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“The Stones Cry Out is startlingly good as literature. It is also an important addition to a thin historical record. . . . Her account of the revolutionary rhetoric, set against the reality of what the revolutionaries were actually doing, is as macabre as any of the descriptions of bodies.” —The Wall Street Journal

“This is a powerful and compelling story of terror, struggle and death sprinkled with moments of tenderness, written by a woman who writes not of politics but only of what she experienced.” —New York Times Book Review

In 1975, Molyda Szymusiak (her adoptive name), the daughter of a high Cambodian official, was twelve years old and leading a relatively peaceful life in Phnom Penh. Suddenly, on April 17, Khmer Rouge radicals seized the capital and drove all its inhabitants into the countryside. The chaos that followed has been widely publicized, most notably in the movie The Killing Fields. Murderous brutality coupled with raging famine caused the death of more than two million people, nearly a third of the population. This powerful memoir documents the horror Cambodians experienced in daily life.

Author Bio

Molyda Szymusiak (Buth Keo) was born in Phnom Penh on October 19, 1962. After the 1975 Khmer Rouge takeover, she and her family were driven from the capital into the Cambodian countryside. Molyda and the three surviving members of her family reached the Kao I Dang refugee camp on the Thai border in 1980. In 1981 they went to Paris, where Molyda and two of her cousins were adopted by Polish exiles Jan Szymusiak, an academic historian, and his wife, Carmen, a psychiatrist.

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Table of Contents

One/ The Exodus
Two/ Daughters of Pol Pot
Three/ The Agony
Four/ Time Word Away
Five/ Wolves Among Themselves
Six/ Strangers in Our Own Land
Epilogue/ Orphans in Search of a Family
Historical Note