Reflections of a Khmer Soul
A lyrical journey of self-acceptance as the author questions and comes to term with the Killing Fields and other genocides. This journey involves traveling inside oneself and to a distant past to discuss what it means to be Khmer, a hyphenated American, and different misconceptions about Cambodians and Cambodia, a place that still haunts and inspires her.
“In Reflections of a Khmer Soul, Navy Phim explores what it means to be a child of the ‘Killing Fields’ raised in the United States. In the thirty years since the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia, many personal narratives of that horrific period have been written, but Navy offers a new point of view on this tragic story. Hers is the story of the middle generation growing up with, and trying to make sense of, two cultures and two worlds-the beauty and tragedy of her Cambodian past (her Khmer soul) and the comfortable restlessness of her American present. Through stories, memories, and ‘snippets,’ Navy shares her life journey from her birthplace in Battambang, Cambodia, to Kao-I-Dang refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border, to a refugee processing center in the Philippines, to Long Beach, California, home to the largest population of Cambodians outside Southeast Asia. Told from the perspective of a seasoned world traveler, this book offers a unique perspective on both Cambodian and American cultures and history. ”
-Dr. Susan Needham, associate professor, anthropology, California State University, Dominguez Hills