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'The sober and moving retelling of a nightmare survived' --The Economist
'Vivid and detailed' --The New York Times Review of Books
'A number of survivors of the Khmer Rouge have recorded their experience in memoirs. Affonco has written one of the best' --The Sunday Times
- To be permanently hungry and to watch your little eight-year old girl slowly dying, without being able to give her anything at all, is an unbearable torment - In one of the most powerful memoirs of persecution ever written, Denise Affonço recounts how her comfortable life was torn apart when the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia in April 1975. A French citizen she was offered the choice of fleeing the country with her children or staying by her husband s side. Chinese and a convinced communist, he believed that the Khmer Rouge would bring an end to five years of civil war. She decided that the family should stay together. But peace did not return and along with millions of their fellow citizens they were deported to the countryside to a living hell where they endured almost four years of hard labour, famine, sickness and death. What gives this book its remarkable freshness is that much of it was written in the months after Denise Affonço s liberation in 1979. After that, she had to rebuild her life with her surviving son in France and the carbon copy manuscript was all but forgotten. It was only when some 25 years later she met a European academic who told her that the Khmer Rouge did nothing but good for Cambodia that she realised it was time to end her silence. Her phenomenal testimony sold 50,000 copies when published in 2005 in France. Part of the profits from the sales of To The End of Hell will go the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), where a scholarship has been set up in the name of Denise Affonço s daughter, who starved to death in 1976 under the Khmer Rouge regime. DC-Cam is an independent research centre dedicated to recording the history of the Khmer Rouge period. The Centre s archival holdings are providing the bulk of the documentary evidence at the UN backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal which is taking place in Cambodia.
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