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Title: In The Shade of A Quiet Killing Place
Author: Sam Sotha
ISBN: 978-974-88163-4-0
Published: 2007
Format: Hard cover, 19.8 * 19.8 cm., 139 pages, illustrations
Price: Baht395 / USD13.95


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On April 17, 1975 Sam Sotha and his wife Sony, along with thousands of others, were forced by the Khmer Rouge to leave Phnom Penh. Shot, tortured, starved and enslaved in hard labor was the fate of many Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge years.

In In The Shade of A Quiet Killing Place: A Personal Memoir, Sam Sotha tells a moving personal story of love and a couple’s struggle for survival during the four years of their captivity by the Khmer Rouge.

In the context of intense brutality and human tragedy, Sam Sotha’s In The Shade of A Quiet Killing Place gives an inspiringly beautiful portrait of love between husband and wife that refused to yield under such terror. Forced to leave their home and then from one prison camp to another, Sam and Sony endured and witnessed family separation, torture, starvation, mindless killings and acts more horrific than death. Yet, against it all their spiritual bond only grew stronger and became unbreakable. The strength of their love guided the couple through the darkest moments, when it seemed only a miracle could save them from certain death.

The memoir is based on a hand-written diary and drawings recorded while the couple waited for resettlement in the United States in a refugee camp in Thailand. The book contains over fifty unique Khmer-style drawings capturing the time and place, the emotions, danger and turmoil in the couple’s experiences during the Pol Pot rule.


Author’s background

Sam Sotha and his wife Sony resettled in the United States in 1982, where they raised two children. Sotha became a leading advocate for refugees and an active political leader in the US. The couple returned to work in Cambodia in 1995. Sam Sotha has since served as Secretary-General of Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA). He also serves as advisor to the prime minister of Cambodia.

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