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The Years of Zero is being honored as one of five finalists in the Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book. See preview:


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I remember the beauty and peace of Cambodia before the Khmer Rouge. Her people were generous and free-spirited. Her land was fertile, carpeted with rice fields, and her every monsoon a blessing… At night, the frogs croaked and crickets chirped. It was pure innocence in our big land.


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Author Seng Ty experienced firsthand the terrors of the Khmer Rouge genocides — horrendous events that left Cambodia ravaged in the 1970s. Within weeks, he and his family went from living a peaceful life in the


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Seng Ty, 47, was seven years old when he was taken from his family home in the city of Phnom Penh and put to work in an agricultural labour camp on rice paddy fields. His father was murdered, his mother worked to death and seven of his ten brothers and sisters died of starvation. Tortured, beaten and starved, Ty ate frogs and insects to stay alive.


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The Years of Zero: Coming of Age under the Khmer Rouge is Seng’s story of how he survived unbearable tragedy and misfortune through a combination of luck and daring before eventually escaping Cambodia to lead a new life in the US.

— Surviving the years of genocide – PHNOM PENH POST

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A survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime tells his story.

In his debut memoir, Ty recounts his childhood in Cambodia. The youngest child in a middle-class doctor’s family, Ty was 7 when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. His family was among the thousands relocated to rural villages, where they were forced to renounce their Westernized habits and remake themselves as agricultural laborers, always under the threat of reprisals from their guards


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I remember seeing young boys returning home on the backs of their water buffaloes and hearing the music of cowbells in the evening. Frogs croaked and crickets chirped. It was pure innocence on our big land


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Seng Ty was adopted from a Thai refugee camp by a US family in 1981 after they read his story in a Time magazine article. The 13-year-old – whose father was murdered and mother


16 May 2014  |   Read full article

LOWELL — The moon would rise above the muddy Cambodian rice paddies just when Seng Ty thought he had nothing left in his body to pull weeds out.


LOWELL SUN  |   Read full article