Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More books please

I received an email today from James King, a designer and photographer from London, who has travelled the globe and has just published a book about what he found when he came to Cambodia. It's called Khmer - Shadows In The Ruins, 228 pages of his photos and thoughts and is available through the on-line publishing website at blurb.com. In fact, if you search through the Blurb.com website, you will find a number of self-published books available via their search engine, using words like Angkor, Khmer, Phnom Penh and Cambodia. It seems everyone and their dog is using websites like this to get their work out to prospective book buyers, and why not. If any of these authors would like me to review their books, please feel free to drop me a line. All books on Cambodia are very welcome. As if someone was reading my mind, I've just received the recently published memoir by Sopheap Ly called No Dream Beyond My Reach, who sent me a copy of her 115-page book via a friend. Dr Ly arrived in the US from a refugee camp at the age of sixteen. Her book is her story of surviving the trauma of the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia and her new life in the States. I will read it in the next few days and post my review here. My thanks to Sopheap for arranging its delivery and to Richard for acting as the postman.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, a lot of books on Khmer are mostly in literature format. I think it would be a good idea to include lots of color photographs of the talked about literature on Khmer temples and more as well, not just literature; include color photos as well because people like to look at the referenced photos when they read on Khmer. It would make it more interesting, don't you think so?

July 22, 2009 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I agree that photos certainly help you appreciate the contents of the text better. Providing an image can do as much as hundreds of words in many cases. Its the same on my blog for example, photos are much easier on the eye than reading long pieces of text, though with the text you can tell a story and put the picture into context, which is also important. Text and photos can work together in tandem very well.
One problem that Khmer literature suffers from is producing both quality photographs (the lack of professional Khmer photographers here in Cambodia is a concern) and reproducing them in books. Often the photos are poor quality or badly printed. Once that hurdle is overcome (photocopied books don't help of course) I think we will see much higher quality books being produced.

July 22, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
why not turn Nhem En into a temple-photographer and photography instructor? Whatever might be said about his role in the KR-period, he seems to have well learned his craft with the Chinese, don't you think? - Alain

July 24, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I wouldn't want to turn Nhem En into anything. Let's just leave him alone with his rubber Pol Pot sandals and ageing cameras to sit out the rest of his life in Anlong Veng. He gets far too much newspaper coverage already as well as column inches on my blog too. I kick myself whenever I mention his name..ouch!

July 25, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

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