Lulu in the Sky: A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness (Paperback)

A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness

By Loung Ung

Harper Perennial, 9780062091918, 330pp.

Publication Date: April 17, 2012



Concluding the trilogy that started with the bestselling memoir First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung describes her college experience and her first steps into adulthood, revealing her struggle to reconcile with her past while moving forward towards happiness. After the violence of the Khmer Rouge and the difficult assimilation experience of a refugee, Loung's daily struggle to keep darkness, anger, and depression at bay will finally find two unexpected allies: the empowering call of activism, and the redemptive power of love. Lulu in the Sky is the story of Loung's journey to a Cambodian village to reconnect with her mother's spirit; to a vocation that will literally allow her to heal the landscape of her birth; and to the transformative influence of a supportive marriage to a loving man.

Praise For Lulu in the Sky: A Daughter of Cambodia Finds Love, Healing, and Double Happiness

“You can’t help liking and admiring this young woman. . . . [A] lively, humorous account . . . when you arrive at the hard-earned happy ending, it’s with a sigh of deep relief.”
-Washington Post

“Loung Ung makes Lulu in the Sky shimmer with renewal after the Cambodian killing fields”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Ung’s writing is clear-headed, honest and compelling; much of what she describes, from the brutalities she and her family endured to the ways it steered her adult life, is deeply affecting.”

Conversation Starters from

  1. Would you agree or disagree that Lulu in the Sky is not only a love story about Loung Ung and Mark, but also Loung's love story with Cambodia, her mother, and herself?
  2. Compared to her previous works, Lulu in the Sky has many moments when Loung shows her humorous and silly side. What do you believe her intention is in sharing this?
  3. Why does Loung kept her relationship with Mark a secret from her family for ten years?
  4. Loung tries to find "healing" in various forms—from activism to reconnecting with her family and returning to Cambodia. Does this work?
  5. Who are some of the iconic women that have inspired Loung?
  6. How is Loung able to reconcile the guilt of believing that her mother was weak and that she abandoned Loung?
  7. Describe how and why the activist, American Loung is protective of her sister Chou and her Cambodian family.
  8. What significance do the scenes pertaining to "fairy tales" and pop culture have in this book and Loung's life?