Luong H. Ung-Lai was born of Chinese parents in Angkor, Cambodia, and grew up being called by her childhood nickname, Moy. She was eleven years old when the Khmer Rouge violently rose to power in 1975, and her experiences were horrendous, including having to watch helplessly as her mother and grandfather died slow, painful deaths. Eventually, she escaped to Thailand and was brought to the United States.
In 1987, six years after leaving Cambodia, Ung-Lai began shaping her memories into a narrative as a process of psychological healing. These writings became the memoirs The Freedom…Cage and The Freedom…Cage II: Moy.
Ung-Lai is also the author of a work of fiction titled Silver Moon, Tom Cupcake.