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"Dear Ms. Him,
Thank you so much for sharing your story [When Broken Glass Floatswith me and the world . . .  Courageous individuals such as yourself help give voice to those who have none and remind us of our obligations to humanity…You are an inspiring woman."  Read More

Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Secretary of State




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It is with great honor that I share the adaptation of my memoir, When Broken Glass Floats, into the one-act play, FOUR CHILDREN.

The world premiere of FOUR CHILDREN was presented from October 7 to 24, 2021, at City Stage, located in Kansas City's historic Union Station. This significant event coincided with the internationally acclaimed traveling museum exhibit "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away." The play served as a fitting tribute to the exhibit, both of which were featured at the Union Station.

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February 2023 Release of Audiobook

Tantor Audio, the publisher of the audiobook for When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge, is a renowned division of Recorded Books, the largest independent audiobook publisher.


The audiobook is narrated by the award-winning actress Kalean Ung, whose talent brings the story to life with profound depth and emotion.  Get a copy here.

Actress Kalean Ung

I am pleased to announce that When Broken Glass Floats, a compelling screenplay recently adapted from my memoir, has received an endorsement from Karen Baldwin, an Academy Award-nominated producer, on July 19, 2021. Known for her role in producing the acclaimed film Ray, starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, Ms. Baldwin graciously devoted time to reading the script during her vacation.

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On February 11, 2022, When Broken Glass Floats was honored as a semi-finalist in the 2021 American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition. This distinction was bestowed by the esteemed guest judge, Francis Ford Coppola, a five-time Oscar-winning Director and Screenwriter. The screenplay was selected as the top 1% of the competition, standing out among nearly 2,000 scripts entered.

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Mr.  Francis Ford Coppola
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When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge is a testament to the resilience and anguish endured by myself and countless others during the years of terror under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In a nation of 7 million, the regime's brutality claimed the lives of nearly two million people.

Motivated by a deep-seated need to honor the memories of those lost and to share our collective narrative, I devoted four years to writing this memoir. It was a journey of revisiting the depths of terror, suffering, and isolation that characterized our lives during that dark period. This emotionally taxing process brought many painful memories to the surface but resulted in an award-winning book. It serves as a voice for the silenced, a remembrance for my beloved parents and siblings, and a record of a tragic chapter in history.

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“Even though Chanrithy was young during the genocide, she never forgot her mission to educate the world.  I commend her for this effort.”  

— Dith Pran, whose life story was portrayed in the Oscar-winning film, The Killing Fields

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 “A gut-wrenching story, told with honesty, restraint, and dignity.” 

—  Ha Jin, author of Waiting, winner of the National Book Award

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“Astonishing and heartbreaking. . . . Written in spare, visual prose that makes the world it describes tangible.”  

— Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe


“Intelligent and morally aware . . . [Him] tells us what it was like to struggle to survive while others played out utopian dreams.”    

— Richard Bernstein, New York Times

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“A touching and illuminating human account and should not be missed by anyone around the world.”  — Le Ly Hayslip, author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places


"Simply but effectively recounted." 

Justin Wintle, (London) Sunday Times

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"Moving and well-written memoir" 

— Library Journal

“An inspiring story that draws hope from horror.”    

— Seattle Times

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"Astounding. . . . A remarkable testament to both the horrors of Pol Pot's treacherous regime and to the strength of a people brought together by fear of a common enemy. . . .As important for its historical perspective as it is for its inspirational conclusion." — Soma

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This beautifully told story is an important addition to the literature of this period.  —  Publishers Weekly

"Twenty-five years after the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror expired, Him's memoir is a grim, gut-wrenching reminder of its violence." 


A worthy and compelling. . . . Simply told, yet inspirational memoir about the reign of the Khmer Rouge that helps to shed light on the plight of the Cambodian people.  

Kirkus Reviews

"Few books take us through the whole hellish journey as seen by children--and as deep inside their confused and angry hearts." 

San Jose Mercury News

“There are few books that give a refugee’s point of view as clearly and passionately as Him’s.”   Time Out

"The force of this memoir lies in the present-tense immediacy of lived experience, told vividly through a child's lens. . . . One of a younger generation of survivors who are emerging to transform their anguish and nightmares into a landscape of transcendence and hope." 

Women's Review of Books


The years following the darkness of the Khmer Rouge have been a journey of remarkable transformation and fulfillment. My once impossible dream has now become a reality. Through my book, the memories of my dear parents, siblings, friends, and the millions who perished unjustly, continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of my readers and audiences globally.

My voice, once stifled, now rings clear and strong.

In 2004, I received a heartfelt letter from then-Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, praising me for "giving voice to those who have none." My work joins the ranks of influential voices in Voices of Protest: Documents of Courage and Dissent, alongside luminaries such as Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, and Rachel Carson. Radio Sweden Channel One drew parallels between my memoir and the works of Imre Kertész, the 2002 Nobel Prize winner in Literature and Holocaust survivor. Additionally, I shared the screen with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the film The Will to Live. My story has been broadcast on international platforms including BBC, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and various Australian and U.S. media outlets.

As a keynote speaker, I've had the privilege of addressing diverse audiences in the United States, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, France, Vietnam, and England as well as engaging with students, professors, and educators worldwide through virtual platforms.

When Broken Glass Floats has not only inspired readers but also become a staple in book clubs and educational curriculums globally. My speaking engagements at these institutions often blend the gravity of my experiences with an unexpectedly upbeat spirit, humor, and warmth, prompting a common inquiry: how could someone who endured such profound loss and suffering under one of the 20th century's most brutal regimes emerge with such resilience, forgiveness, and optimism?

In my ongoing journey of speaking engagements, I strive to answer this question and fulfill my mission: to share the truth of our past, empowering us as a global community to prevent such atrocities from recurring.

For information on arranging an appearance, including details and fees, please feel free to contact me.



Chanrithy Him






When Broken Glass Floats has been translated into six languages:


Clicking on the book to purchase.





Clicking on the book to purchase.





Click on the book to purchase.



Purchase Copies As Gifts Today!
To Purchase Large Orders for Book Signing, Please Contact My Publisher:

I am passionately committed to captivating readers worldwide with my unique and imaginative storytelling, infused with a distinct Cambodian flair. My ambition is to both entertain and enlighten, to empower and educate through narratives steeped in rich cultural heritage and intriguing twists. Stay tuned for my upcoming young adult novel, Rise of the Golden Aura, which promises to be a vibrant addition to this mission.

Book Cover © by 


Rise of the Golden Aura


Overview |


A blind man’s vision: ancient royalty will reincarnate as a queen with supernatural gifts; her golden aura visible only to the spirit world.


JD Bophatip is a lucky girl. Abandoned as a baby in a basket near a Cambodian temple, she was adopted and taken to America. Now seventeen, JD decides to enter the Queen of Rosaria competition, part of the Portland Rose Festival. It’s a decision that will change her life.


Enter Ryker Erickson: charming, enigmatic and irresistible. He is drawn to JD, captivated by her glowing aura. He’s not the only one.


Ryker and his family belong to a powerful circle of vampires with a vested interest in the human realm. A prophecy foretells that a golden queen will come to rule the vampire underworld. While Ryker falls for JD, his clan is plotting her destruction.


Then there are the dreams. JD struggles to comprehend the meaning behind these potent prophetic visions. How are they linked to a mysterious gift of Sanskrit inscriptions and sacred jewels? JD must harness her emerging powers in time to fulfill her destiny and save her life.


The first book of an exciting and unusual new series, Rise of the Golden Aura blends myth, folklore, suspense, loyalty and love.

Enjoy Rise of the Golden Aura Book Trailer with Stunning Concept Arts

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"Cambodian lore, vampires, mysticism and the perfect dose of romance! A great read!"

#1 New York Times bestselling

author Rachel Van Dyken 

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Why did I spend three years pouring my heart and soul into Rise of the Golden Aura for Young Adults/Adults?


Though I have inspired and empowered my readers, audiences, and hosts around the world with my international speaking and my widely acclaimed, award-winning memoir, When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge (Norton), the painful story came with a hefty personal price.  It was time for a change. Read more....

Photo by Dy Leng

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