Saturday, December 09, 2006


Where's that trumpet when you need's finally arrived....Dawn Rooney's updated and beautifully illustrated 5th edition of her Angkor 'bible' has hit the bookshops. I was in Bristol on a training course this week and there it was, holding pride of place in Stanfords travel bookshop. Its called Angkor : Cambodia's Wondrous Khmer Temples, its the fifth edition of Dawn's book and contains an additional 33 temple sites, 488 pages, 176 colour photos, 44 maps and a foreword from King Norodom Sihamoni no less. Its published by Odyssey Books and can be bought here. My own website gets a mention; British Andy Brouwer writes the best of the personal websites, packed with tales from his annual travels in the kingdom. A comprehensive links page that includes some travelogues, Brouwer puts in as much info on temples as contributors submit.

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Those kind souls at Routledge Publishers have sent me 3 brand new books to review this week, so I better get my specs cleaned in preparation. Gregor Muller's Colonial Cambodia's 'Bad Frenchmen' : The rise of French rule and the life of Thomas Caraman, 1840-87 looks very interesting to say the least. 295 pages and the story of how Cambodia became colonized by the French in the 19th century and the tale of one man who came to represent everything that the colonial state dreaded. Expressions of Cambodia: The politics of tradition, identity and change is a series of articles, edited by Leakthina Chau-Pech Ollier and Tim Winter, that will be of particular interest to those working in the fields of Asian studies, tourism, diaspora and postcolonial and cultural studies. With an introduction by Ben Kiernan, Conflict and Change in Cambodia, by editor Caroline Hughes, isn't due out until next year and brings together an analysis of Cambodia's recent political and environmental history. All 3 books can be ordered through the publisher's website.
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The Royal Ballet of Cambodia are scheduled to tour in March and April 2008 but I don't have any more details at this stage. I believe it'll be in Europe but where and when I don't know. Okay, so its a long way off just yet, but forewarned is forearmed! On Monday of this week, I was invited, but couldn't attend, the opening of the Audiovisual Resource Center Bophana in Phnom Penh, an archive started by renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh, that is collecting audiovisual documents relating to Cambodia to ensure they are not lost forever, and are made available to the Cambodian people in their own backyard. Good luck to Rithy Panh and his colleagues on their commendable endeavours.

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