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Reflections of a Khmer Soul -- Navy Phim

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Reflections of a Khmer Soul

Navy Phim

Paperback, 5.5x8.5 in, 164 pages
Wheatmark, August 2007
ISBN: 9781587368615


“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

“Navy Phim brilliantly weaves a story of being Khmer and American like an intricate pattern of the Sampot Hole (Khmer Silk Skirt). Her narrative represents many Khmer-American voices of the post Khmer Rouge generation searching for identity. She writes with a candor and passion that expresses a faithful soul.”

—Sovathana Sokhom, former consultant to the United Nations in Cambodia

“With a passion for speaking the truth, Navy delivers a well-written book that touches on the global issues of political correctness, skin color, class status and socioeconomic background. Her narrative takes readers on a journey through her past and present and engages them on discussions of cultural diversity, spirituality, beauty and justice for all. I highly recommend this personal story of success and stigma faced by immigrants in America to educators of immigrant students.”

—Alex Morales, university instructor, multicultural education


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.

About the Author

Navy Phim came to the United States in 1984 when she was nine years old. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Anthropology. She also received a Master of Science in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach in December 2006. Navy is a world traveler and has returned to Thailand and Cambodia. She has also visited England, Scotland, India, Nepal, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada.

To learn more about the author, the book and her future endeavors, visit: http://www.navyphim.com.