A harrowing tale of survival and escape.

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THE GIRL WHO SAID GOODBYE

A MEMOIR OF A KHMER ROUGE SURVIVOR

An account of murder, starvation, bravery, and faith under Cambodia’s dreaded Khmer Rouge regime.

In 1974, Siv Eng, a Cambodian teenager from the rural town of Battambang, was full of hope for a promising future when she joined her younger sister, Sourn Leng, in a Phnom Penh apartment. There, they planned to live as they pursued pharmacy studies at the University of Health Science. They joined their older brother, Pho—a freshly minted electrical engineer—and his young wife, Sok Yann, as well as their aunt Chhiv Hong and other family members. But their lives were about to turn nightmarish, as the Khmer Rouge were about to take over the country. In this debut biography, Allen relates, in Siv Eng’s voice, the gripping story of her aunt’s struggle to survive seemingly unrelenting terror. In the 1970s, Allen notes, the Khmer Rouge enslaved the entire country’s population, eliminated education, money, the judicial system, private property, as well as any type of happiness, including singing, that the regime considered a sign of capitalist decadence. Throughout this book, the author employs a matter-of-fact, almost flat prose style that contrasts well with the horror of the narrative that she relates in her aunt’s voice. Along the way, Allen effectively reveals the privation and misery created by the Cambodian communists as Siv Eng survived in her country’s wasteland; she found hope in only two things—her love of her family members and her quiet, lasting sense of prayer: “We were so hungry,” Siv Eng narrates, “The suffering was unbearable. Instead of using the rice to feed the hungry mouths, the Angkar [Khmer Rouge] was feeding bullets to guns.” The story’s chronology isn’t straightforward, but flashbacks offer a contrast between Siv Eng’s earlier days and her later ordeal.

A harrowing tale of survival and escape.

Pub Date: Jan. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64339-955-3

Page Count: 358

Publisher: Rebel Press

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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