Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 12654
date submitted 11.02.2010
date updated 21.01.2014
genres: Romance, Harper True Life
classification: universal
incomplete

Bamboo Promise( Prison Without Walls)

Vicheara Houn

“How did Pol Pot the Khmer Rouge Leader, and evil Maoist Communist put his own people in the Prison Without Walls ?”

 

Cambodia is a country with beautiful temples and art, and steeped in the Buddhist religion. Despite this, the once-civilized society turned to violence and proceeded to destroy itself. People betrayed their parents, their children, and their friends. In the process, they extinguished everything that represented the truth and beauty of Cambodia. How does an individual withstand such experiences and resume life after having fought for a single grain of rice and witnessed unbelievable cruelties, such as mothers crushing their babies, young children willing to kill for a morsel of food, and the entire decimation of normal urban life?

This is the remarkable personal autobiography of a woman raised as the sheltered and privileged only child of a prominent Cambodian family. This story of how she adapted and survived in the harsh “killing fields” is unlike any other memoir of this era. It is a triumph of the human spirit.

 
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tags

communisme, corruption, culture, despair, fear, genocide, happer true life, history, horror, humiliation, inspirational, jealousy, khmer empire and it...

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1185 comments

 

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Bamboo Promise wrote 1257 days ago

*******DEAR HARPER COLLINS*********
Thank you for this wonderful review. I am so proud of it, and have the full MS ready for your consideration, should you wish to take this project further. With thanks, again, to your reviewing Editor, from Bora M.

Kaychristina wrote 1325 days ago

A further comment which I think is more important than my earlier ones:

Bamboo Promise - is written by a true Cambodian lady, who was an adult when the Khmer Rouge took her country, and informs how it was betrayed by those in thrall to Mao.

Bora's recollections are vivid, historically accurate and informative, and her words really do burn off the pages like napalm.

This is the truth. Bora lived it,and tells how she, as an adult, triumphed over evil, honored her Father, family, and country.

Just as she learned to understand the enemy within, what made them do what they did - and she tells us here.

Sadly, some might well let this happen again - the power-hungry never go away, not really. They only lie low, as vermin do. If more people learn the truth of what happened, how their own leaders betrayed them, it can be prevented.

Her people, those who lived through these atrocities with her, whose parents and grandparents did, are crying out for this work, the truth, to be read by the world. Thousands of Cambodians support this work, knowing its truth.

Bora represents not only her own people, but represents triumph over adversity for oppressed people everywhere. And as her Father always told her, no one must be allowed to take away your own mind, your HOPE.

This book could be viewed as a complement to an early work by Loung Ung - who was just a small child - confirming the truths that lady's family told her for her book. But this one is written by someone who lived through those terrible times, gives the reasons behind them with an adult's understanding of the evil borne on them, and beating it.

The final part of this story - not uploaded here - tells of the *liberation*, of the parts played by Thailand and Vietnam, of what that so-called 'liberation' meant. As Bora says, *The Khmer Rouge wanted to kill us; the Vietnamese to control us. We would rather have the Americans control us*. Indeed, she and her people prayed for the Americans to go back and save them, but as we know, they could not go back. The American people had enough - paying a terrible price themselves in casualties, as well as monetary cost - so despite President Ford's pleas, Congress vetoed it. And Cambodia was left to its pitiful fate. And we now know what perhaps they did not - the full extent of the crimes against humanity being committed within Cambodia, and those crimes are laid bare here.

It is the story of a woman, a high-ranking government minister's daughter, who became a slave in the killing fields, witnessed what no man or woman should ever have to see, survived what few could bear, and triumphed over an evil that she will not, with any power left within her being, see happen to her country again. It is a tour de force.

From Kay with love



L.A.Premise wrote 1327 days ago

This is a magnificent story about the rebirth of a woman. She was born into wealth and power and had it ripped away! Then she had to survive and claw her way back into humanity. This is a spellbinding tale of adventure and survival! I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to be inspired. Please read this book as it will open your eyes.

Kaychristina wrote 1387 days ago

Bora, here's an additional comment to my earlier one (and all the messages!) --

Do you think those other books (on Cambodia) you found were published recently?? Yours has a much better title! If they were published a while ago, then I wouldn't worry. Also, yours has SO MUCH MORE in it, and the one you describe sounds like total misery... all too tragic, of course, but HC did say on one of their blogs to us, that they wanted more *uplifting* stories, in all genres. I think yours has that - it has that TRIUMPH OVER ADVERSITY lacking in anything else published, by HC or anyone else, past or present.

It's also written in such a way - especially the later chapters - that you could turn it into a novel of historical fiction if necessary - to get it published. The way you speak of that terrible time, leaving your home and the existence endured by your people burns off the page like Napalm.

But I think, even if those other books were recent, yours is still different. And there are still agents trawling the top-ranked books, so you might get one of those who will be able to sell it to another publisher anyway!! XXX from Kay

Rome wrote 1369 days ago

Bora,

This is a heartwarming book about life in Cambodia and of course, about yours'. I am touched about what you have to say and how you describe your childhood years. You seem to have been a precocious child, very adorable indeed and very outright - so cute!
Although you might need revisions with this manuscript, I am so impressed with the captivating descriptions - they are full of life and very emotional, every bit of soul goes into your writing, I can see.

I will certainly back your book because it is such a deep read - it makes me want to read all of your book and I will probably stop by when I have more time. I did political science in school so I understand about the laws of that region and also support Aung San Suu Kyi intensely. She is a very forthright and brave woman to be where she is!

All the best Bora!

Rome
Directives for Murder
Book of Shadows

Bamboo Promise wrote 110 days ago

For anyone who follows the news, the cruelty of humanity is verified on a daily basis in many parts of the world, but rarely has an entire nation been completely decimated at the hands of barbarians, such as occurred in Cambodia in the 1970s, the reasons lying in the surreptitious instigations of Viet Nam (still in process); in the non-confrontational societal tradition of the Cambodian people; and in the failure of the world to take action -- all so painfully reflected in Vicheara Houn's searing recount of her biography, "BAMBOO PROMiSE".

Vicheara takes us along as her companions on the impossible journey in which she lost everything and everyone, and her subsequent miraculous survival. It is said that humanity's inhumanity stems basically from fear, and there could be no greater fear than that which she lived through for four interminable years, miraculously emerging as a gentle, loving, soul-connected peacemaker not unlike Nelson Mandela, leading to the realization that, ultimately, the only path for humanity MUST come to be mutual caring and sustenance, whether nearby or at a distance.

I invite you to come along and share her panic, love, grief and final escape, in the conviction that they will open your heart and, finally, lead you, and by extension, humanity, to an enduring empathy and compassion, which will eventually transform our planet to its intended destiny.

In tribute to Vicheara's superhuman resiliency,

Lynne Murguia
- Former NGO to the United Nations
- Former Micro-Credit practitioner (Asia)
- Current Funder for Social Development (U.S. / Asia)
- Meditator

Bamboo Promise wrote 110 days ago

For anyone who follows the news, the cruelty of humanity is verified on a daily basis in many parts of the world, but rarely has an entire nation been completely decimated at the hands of barbarians, such as occurred in Cambodia in the 1970s, the reasons lying in the surreptitious instigations of Viet Nam (still in process); in the non-confrontational societal tradition of the Cambodian people; and in the failure of the world to take action -- all so painfully reflected in Vicheara Houn's searing recount of her biography, "BAMBOO PROMiSE".

Vicheara takes us along as her companions on the impossible journey in which she lost everything and everyone, and her subsequent miraculous survival. It is said that humanity's inhumanity stems basically from fear, and there could be no greater fear than that which she lived through for four interminable years, miraculously emerging as a gentle, loving, soul-connected peacemaker not unlike Nelson Mandela, leading to the realization that, ultimately, the only path for humanity MUST come to be mutual caring and sustenance, whether nearby or at a distance.

I invite you to come along and share her panic, love, grief and final escape, in the conviction that they will open your heart and, finally, lead you, and by extension, humanity, to an enduring empathy and compassion, which will eventually transform our planet to its intended destiny.

In tribute to Vicheara's superhuman resiliency,

Lynne Murguia
- Former NGO to the United Nations
- Former Micro-Credit practitioner (Asia)
- Current Funder for Social Development (U.S. / Asia)
- Meditator

tessypatrick wrote 135 days ago

Hello.

My name is Miss tessy,i saw your profile
today and became interested in
you,i will also like to know you more,
and i want you to send an email to my
email address (tessypatrick96@yahoo.com)
so i can give you my picture for you
to know whom i am. Remember
the distance or colour does not matter
but love matters alot in life is love.
thanks and God bless,

Tessy,

Steve Clark wrote 142 days ago

What a wonderful book. Although many of us witnessed the horror from afar, this is an exceptionally well-written view of it from the inside. Only two chapters in and I'm absolutely hooked. I unabashedly and enthuiastically back this book and can't wait to read more.

Bamboo Promise wrote 659 days ago

Vichaera: Congratulations on winning the gold medal! I love your book! The Cambodian culture is fascinating and reminds me a bit of my feelings during the time I spent in the Philippines: such an ancient, beautiful culture with its family rituals and beliefs. Of course there are only the first few chapters available on this site so I wasn't able to get into any of the awful period during the genocide by Pol Pot and the Khmer rouge soldiers. Instead, from your chapters, I had a marvelous glimpse of a Cambodia that sadly, as you report, no longer exists.


I miss my paternal home, sweet home, a real home where I and my family never thought about the genocide could happen and later I became the only person who survived. This home still exist with the name of my father, but the live of my family has disappeared forever. I believe one day I will have my paternal home back. My book appears as an e Book and is available on amazon.com and others E-tailor.

I like the style of the book.

It is a terrible story, and a real one.

And the confusion of the narrative mirrors the confusion, fear and suspicion of the real story.

However, this means it can also stun the reader, and stop them from reading on.

The writer, couldn't stop for breathe out of fear, but the reader can and could put the book down for a rest and then not want to pick it up again out of horror.

It might be a good idea to try and balance out the good with the bad (as far as possible in such a story) so that the reader continues reading until the end.

Instead of trying to make them undergo the liltany of abuse you suffered, rather than get them to understand how you survived.

strachan gordon wrote 1038 days ago

Hello Bora,sorry I haven't been in touch,but uploading has been very difficult,but the book is ready to read - at least the first two chapters.Its anhistorical adventure /romance,which features lost love,pirates,The Great Plague of London(1665),duelling in the army of Louis XIV,beautiful French and Spanish Ladies,boots of Spanish Leather,the attack on Panama and much more,hope you enjoy it,very best wishes,Strachan Gordon.

monicque wrote 1052 days ago

Wow! Awesome. Hope you get it published soon. xx

strachan gordon wrote 1079 days ago

This is your second language?Amazing!Books on this era and country are virtually unknown in the UK.I was very interested to read an evocation of this terrible time,by someone,particularly, who lived through it.Everything about the book is completely convincing and overlaid with this terrible fear of the Khmer Rouge and what they will do,which as we know was truly hideous .The image of the bamboo was powerful and meaningful.This is a book of genuine quality and desrves to be a success,would you like to read two chapters of my book 'A Buccaneer' set in the 17th century with the pirates in the Caribbean,very best wishes,Strachan Gordon

SusieGulick wrote 1207 days ago

How totally wonderful you are, Bora!! :) Thank you so very much for again backing my memoirs/testimony book. :) May God richly bless you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I just looked to see if I had ******-ed your book & it is ******-rated (6 gold ******'s) :) Every ****** -ing & backing more than 24 hours moves our books up authonomy's lists. :) I want to ask you if you could please keep my book on your bookshelf to be in the top 5 to be chosen, the end of January :) - I had a mini-stroke Nov. 10 with slurred speech for an hour & numbness of tongue still & over 24 smaller ones where I couldn't speak since & I"d sure like to cross the finish line of the editor's desk after 10 months trying on authonomy. :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me :) - I have lost 3 sisters to strokes & my last sister, Mary had 2 heart attacks this past year.

The Ark And The Aroma Of Peril wrote 1248 days ago

What a page-turner this is! Cracking!!
Backed and Good Luck
All the best. Backed,
S.vinay kumar,
The ark and the aroma of peril

Bamboo Promise wrote 1257 days ago

*******DEAR HARPER COLLINS*********
Thank you for this wonderful review. I am so proud of it, and have the full MS ready for your consideration, should you wish to take this project further. With thanks, again, to your reviewing Editor, from Bora M.

ayosmiles wrote 1258 days ago

I am backing your book because of your story and the tragic history it portrays.

Walt Alexander wrote 1258 days ago

Hi Bora, I've read thro' your frightening story/ It is v. difficult to comment other than to say that it must have been a terrifying experience-assuming of course that it is your experience. It sounds as tho' it is. We in Britain had the experience of WWII when in the first years there was the threat of invasion by the nazi's. But that was a threat from outside our country. Your experience was a threat from inside your country by those you called a 'murder of crows'. A much more terrifying thing especially when ten year old boys are carrying firearms!
I have backed & shelved your story-noy that you can get higher up the ratings than you are, but every little helps. I wish you luck with it. Best Walt.

SusieGulick wrote 1261 days ago

You are totally fantastic, Bora! :) How can I ever thank you enough for putting my book on your shelf :) - it brought tears to my eyes ;( you have really touched my heart that you have helped me. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I just looked to see if I had ****** 'd your book & I had :) - could you look to see if you've ****** 'd mine? :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I'm 14 away from the top & am struggling to keep going. :)

Carlamarie wrote 1262 days ago

Congrats Lady!!! What a wonderful thing for you- to move to an island paradise and THEN make this...

Again,

Congrats!

Carla Marie

Ayrich wrote 1262 days ago

Well Done to you!

Bamboo Promise wrote 1265 days ago
Marissa Martin wrote 1279 days ago

Terrifying, compelling, exciting and a real page turner Good luck - the opening really drags you in.

khmerphlek wrote 1289 days ago

wonderful story about the bravery of Khmer people during the dark days of Cambodia during Khmer Rouge regime. A must read if you need to be a bit of inspiration.
Take care my Khmer friend,
Samnang Phlek

minx2minx wrote 1295 days ago



Hi Bora, sorry but I have been quite unwell with a flu type illness and should have answered your message. I hadn't realized that there were people who could be so nasty to someone on this site...how naive I can be. My daughter traveled South East Asia a few years ago and went to Cambodia, though I'd asked her not to because of it's history I was concerned for her. When she came home she said that it was one of the most beautiful countries she had ever visited and the most friendly. How different times are there for your people now and how tragic the journey to this time. I hope Authonomy ban people who are abusive to writers from this site and wish you every success with Bamboo Promise...my daughter is waiting to buy this book as much as I am.
Lizzie :-)

minx2minx wrote 1296 days ago

Hi Lizzie. Thanks for your interesting message. You made me feel proud of my book. Yes, your daughter is right. All my people is VERY nice, friendly and passive. They love foreigners, especially Americans, I don't know why. When I told my cousin (she is in this book too) about how nasty this people in the authonomy doing to my book, she was shocked. I told her they are all humans.
I am so fortunate that my book have made to the desk after a lot of rain and thunderstorm striking.

Best luck to your book

Bamboo Promise wrote 1296 days ago

Bamboo never dies. The bamboo sprout survives, develops, and multiplies as must the youth of Cambodia and Cambodians."

«Quand le bambou se fait vieux, jeunes pousses sortent de la base et sortir dans une nouvelle direction. Elles croissent et se multiplient. Bamboo ne meurt jamais. Le bambou pousse survit, se développe et se multiplie pour devenir plus forts d'une longue vie du Cambodge"

ccb1 wrote 1300 days ago

Bora, Congratulations!!!
CC Brown
Dark Side

ccb1 wrote 1300 days ago

JD, Congratulations!!!
CC Brown
Dark Side

Justis Call wrote 1301 days ago

Congratulations! I am certain "Bamboo Promise" will be a great success!

Justis Call
Prestidigitations

Harris.robert wrote 1301 days ago

you are number 2, Congratualtion

Harris.robert wrote 1301 days ago

I make it .
Excellent book

Mr Scott Jamison wrote 1301 days ago

I will feel guilty if I cannot leaver a comment for your book. Congratulation and happy to see your book published. Excellent booky.

Sandra Fatovich PH.D wrote 1301 days ago

I am glad i can leave a comment before the time is up. congratulation for number 2. Now I feel better. YOur book deserves lots of backings. People from outside backed you mean your book is the symbol of victory and success. You will be famous, and make sure you keep your picture on. You are so beautiful. good Fun Shei.

Lynn Easton earthlink wrote 1301 days ago

I read only the pich, but it looks so good. I will read more later. Congratulation with the number 2 and big numbers of bookshelves. Your book will be famous.

bookerT wrote 1301 days ago

Great book! Really felt like I was there since I have lived and worked in this part of Asia for over 10 years. Would make a great movie.

Gretel Hakenson: Kombucha tea wrote 1301 days ago

I am glad I am not late to leave you a comment. People in my community told me about how good your book was and urged me to come supporting the book or the genocide survival. Thanks for letting the voice of Khmer how were killed tragically in Pol Pot time.

Mary Ackeley wrote 1301 days ago

I cannot wait to see you book published. You have more number in bookshelves than anones else i n this site, this is a good news. All this people is your audience. So, when the book is published, you will be famous. congratulation

Jacequelinesoul wrote 1301 days ago

YOur look beautiful. Your charm will attract more audience. Real life story should be honored. I will buy your book , but make sure you tell the publisher to put your picture on the cover. Your beauty will make the world.
Take my word, girl.

BRONZE HAT wrote 1301 days ago

Your book is famous. You have people in line waiting for your book. Good luck

Eddie Brown wrote 1301 days ago

Bamboo Promise needs to shine the world.

Mcfee.Eileen wrote 1301 days ago

True- life- story needs to be supported.

Bob Mashlow wrote 1301 days ago

Your book deserves to be at the desk, and published. I an so proud of you.
God bless you

Katheleen sexy girl wrote 1301 days ago

Your book is very interesting. I will buy your book when published.

Molivan Ban wrote 1301 days ago

This is a good book. I will tell all my people in my community to support your book. Your book has Khmer culture that I need to promote all Khmer children to not forget where they come from. good luck

Patricia Arnoux wrote 1301 days ago

You book will shine the world. You have many audience now. Good book

crash69 wrote 1301 days ago

BORA,
SHE HAS WRITTEN A BEAUTIFUL STORY OF ONE WOMANS PLIGHT TO LIVE THROUGH AND TO SURVIVE. HOPE TO READ MORE FROM HER.

FROM,
RICHARD AKINS

crash69 wrote 1301 days ago

I HAVE READ SOME OF THIS BOOK AND I REALLY ENJOYED IT. I AM GLAD THAT SHE HAS SURVIVED THIS AND BE ABLE TO TELL HER STORY. I AM HOPING TO READ MORE BOOKS BY BORA MATARAZZO

Sonay Wood wrote 1301 days ago

I am so proud of your book. Keeping going. God bless you and your family.

Ruby Johnson wrote 1301 days ago

I pray for you.

BIG BATON wrote 1301 days ago

The content of the book is fascinating, because it is a true life story. The grammar is later and will be fixed by the professional editor. Best wish to you book.

SivannaPMeth wrote 1301 days ago

You made it. You are a triumph of the spirit. Go Bamboo go!!! Good luck

Laender wrote 1301 days ago

You get what you deserve it. Good luck to your review board.

HAWAII MY DREAM wrote 1301 days ago

YOur make the furniture, the publisher will polish it. Your book will shine the world, because it is the real story about your genocide survival. Good luck