When the Clouds Fell from the Sky: A Daughter's Search for Her Father in the Killing Fields of Cambodia

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Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Robinson Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

ROBERT CARMICHAEL worked for a decade as a foreign correspondent in Cambodia, leaving in 2017. His first stint was from 2001-3 when he was the managing editor of the Phnom Penh Post. He returned in early 2009 to cover Duch's trial, working for German wire service dpa, Radio Australia, Voice of America, the BBC, Deutsche Welle and others. Robert developed excellent relationships with some of the leading lights at the tribunal as well as experts in related fields including academics David Chandler, Stephen Heder and Craig Etcheson and Youk Chhang, who runs the genocide research organization DC-Cam. Robert travelled widely, interviewing people about the Khmer Rouge period, the impact of the tribunal and the thorny issue of reconciliation.

Robert's website www.robertcarmichael.net contains many of his articles.


Few journalists have studied the Khmer Rouge tribunal as closely as Carmichael, whose book reveals the complex, often contradictory nature of international justice. What justice can be had when weighed against such crimes? It is an issue victims and observers alike have struggled with from the start . . . The book is like tracing paper, layering Ket's life over Cambodia's sad history. Threading it together are Martine and Ket's daughter Neary, whose early chance encounter with Carmichael yielded this extraordinary story.

--Abby Seiff, History Today
As moving as it is well researched. Robert Carmichael's sharp prose and depth of knowledge of Cambodia's history transforms a daughter's search for her missing father into a nation's journey to find peace and reconciliation with its brutal history of genocide.--Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father
Like Auschwitz, like Stalin's purges, the mass murders of the Khmer Rouge are one of those extraordinary events that make us wonder about the human capacity for evil. Through a profoundly moving tale that weaves together the connected stories of a victim, his surviving family, and members of the regime, Robert Carmichael brings us into the heart of the darkness that took over Cambodia, bringing it alive in the way no mere statistics can. I've not seen a comparable book about these horrors.--Adam Hochschild, award-winning author of King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa
What does it mean to say two million people lost their lives during the years of Khmer Rouge rule? The true answer can only be told in microcosm, as Robert Carmichael has done in this intimate and heartbreaking story of the disappearance of one man, and the decades of suffering that followed as his family searched for answers.--Seth Mydans, former Southeast Asia correspondent for the New York Times