Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bookshelf musings

I've just finished a really entertaining read, James Rollins' action thriller The Judas Strain, which climaxes deep within the bowels of The Bayon at Angkor, though I won't tell you the details, you'll have to find out for yourself. Essentially, the story is good versus evil and the headlong rush to doomsday that only the agents of Sigma Force can halt, or can they? William Morrow are the publishers and the hardback edition costs $25.95. A full review to follow.
Scheduled for publication at the turn of the year is the latest book from Ian Harris, Buddhism Under Pol Pot which explores the fate of Buddhism before, during and just after the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Harris, aided by DC-Cam's Prum Phalla, concludes there was no policy for the systematic liquidation of monks under the KR, though many were executed, defrocked and forced to marry. It will be available at Monument Books for $15.
Finally, award-winning poet, teacher and fiction writer, Anya Achtenberg's latest novel, History Artist, is all about Cambodia's recent history. The author says this about the novel: "A novel can assist in opening up memory, and with that, opening up questions of accountability, of our responsibility to work for the full recovery of the story, our responsibility for what is done in our name. As journalist and filmmaker John Pilger says, the bombing of Cambodia by American forces in 1970, equivalent to five Hiroshimas, killed an estimated 600,000 Cambodians, and unclassified CIA files leave little doubt that it opened up the country to genocide by the forces of Pol Pot. My dear main character, with whom I have more personal affinity than I can discuss here, has opened me back up to this knowledge/this memory, and will assist me in opening up others to it." Expect the novel sometime in 2008.

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