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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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I am humble and honored that my memoir, When Broken Glass Floats has been  produced as a part of  a one-act play, FOUR CHILDREN.

The world premier of FOUR CHILDREN has been brought to life on October 7 - 24, 2021, at City Stage in Kansas City's historic Union Station to honor the international traveling museum exhibit "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away," currently on display at the Union Station.

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February 2023 Release of Audiobook

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

The audiobook is read by an award-winning actress Kalean Ung.

Get a copy here.

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Actress Kalean Ung

WHEN BROKEN GLASS FLOATS, a powerful and compelling screenplay - which I recently adapted from my memoir  - has earned a wonderful endorsement from Academy Award-nominated producer Karen Baldwin on July 19, 2021. Ms. Baldwin is best known as the producer of the film, Ray, starring the Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.  She kindly read the script while she was on vacation.

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On February 11, 2022, as a guest judge, five-time Oscar-winning Director/Screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola has honored WHEN BROKEN GLASS FLOATS as a semi-finalist in the 2021 American Zoetrope Screenplay.  It was chosen as the top 1% of that competition out of nearly 2,000 scripts entered. 

Mr.  Francis Ford Coppola
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Mr.  Scott Neeson

Recently, the Hero of the Cambodian Children's Fund, Mr. Scott Neeson has kindly made inquiries with the Icon team on my behalf per my request. I pray that the two-time Oscar-winning director/producer Mel Gibson would direct WHEN BROKEN GLASS FLOATS and his producing partner Oscar-winning producer Bruce Davey would produce my film.  


Mr. Neeson, former president of 20th Century Fox International, managed revenues in excess of $1.5 billion and oversaw the release and marketing of blockbuster films, such as Braveheart, Titanic and Star Wars. He knows the Icon team well.


I was honored to learn that he's already read my memoir! He wrote to me and said, “...I know your book, When Broken Glass Floats very well. Congratulations, it's a remarkable achievement in terms of both your story and the quality of the book….”

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Mr.  Mel Gibson

I am on a mission to dazzle the world’s readers with my imaginative and original ideas of storytelling with a Cambodian twist! It is my goal to entertain, inspire, empower, and educate readers everywhere with stories that are rich with cultural background and twists. Please stay tuned for my forthcoming young adult novel, Rise of the Golden Aura.

Book Cover © 2016 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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In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good.  I wrote my memoir, When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge, as a monument to those who perished and suffered alongside of me during our years of enslavement and horror. 


In a country of 7 million, nearly two million of us died.  Determined to use my second chance to tell our story, I wrote for four years as I painfully retraced my steps back through the dark tunnel of terror, suffering, and loneliness that had once been our world. 


Many old wounds were reopened, but I emerged from that darkness with an award-winning book recounting our experience, and forever giving voice to those who no longer have one, including that of my beloved lost parents and siblings.


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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

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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

“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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"Moving and well-written memoir" 

— Library Journal

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

“An inspiring story that draws hope from horror.”    

— Seattle Times

"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

"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

"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

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


Life after those dark years has rewarded me greatly.  My impossible dream has come true.  My deceased parents, siblings and friends now live on in my book and in the hearts and minds of my audiences everywhere, along with the millions of others who perished unjustly alongside of them.  My words have been heard and continue to be heard.


I no longer feel powerless.


In 2004 I received a personal thank-you letter from Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright for "giving voice to those who have none."  My writing appears in the book Voices of Protest: Documents of Courage and Dissent, with the words of other icons of justice, such as Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, and Rachel Carson.  Radio Sweden Channel One compared my memoir with books written by Imre Kertész, the 2002 Nobel Prize winner in literature and Holocaust concentration camp survivor.  I was featured with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a film called The Will To Live.  My words have been heard on the BBC, Al Jazeera, the Voice of America, Cambodian National TV, Australian radio and TV, and U.S. radio and television.  I have been the keynote speaker at lecture halls in the U.S., Australia, Cambodia, Canada and Denmark. Globally, I also have spoken to students, professors, and teachers who use my memoir for their classes via Google Meets and Zoom.


When Broken Glass Floats has inspired and touched many of the lives of those who dared read it.  It has been chosen by book clubs and made required reading in high schools and universities all over the world.  I have been invited to speak at many of those schools and have been invited back again.


There, I consistently surprised audiences by mixing the serious content of my talks with my upbeat spirit, humor, and good-natured teasing.  Over and over, these audiences asked the same question: how is it possible that a child who suffered under one of the most brutal killing regimes of the 20th century, one who lost both her parents and many siblings, could emerge with such a bright and forgiving spirit, and with so much optimism and sense of possibility?


Today, I continue to speak before audiences everywhere, telling my story and answering that question.  My family—and all those who have died and suffered—have given me a mission: to tell the world what really happened, so that we brothers and sisters of this planet can prevent it from ever happening again. 


To arrange an appearance, please contact me for information and fees. 



Chanrithy Him






When Broken Glass Floats has been translated into six languages:


Clicking on the book to purchase.





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