Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Two forthcoming books from Bangkok-based publishers River Books should get the juices flowing for certain members of the Cambodia-loving fraternity. If you are into ancient temples, then Beyond Angkor will grab you by the lapels and demand your attention, or if you are into the more delicate art of ceramics then a new tome from Dawn Rooney entitled Khmer Ceramics: Beauty and Meaning will be just up your street. Rooney is of course the author of the oft-seen, oft-photocopied guide to the Angkor temples but she is an art historian first and foremost with a particular bent towards ceramics, hence this latest offering. This book will explore in depth the largest and most complete collection of Khmer ceramics in the private collection of Yothin Tharahirunchot. Robert McLeod, an internationally renowned photographer, provides the pictures in this 262 page book due out anytime now. Beyond Angkor has been in gestation for a while. As the title suggests the book will primarily dig deep into the temple sites away from the main Angkor complex to include Preah Vihear, Sambor Prei Kuk, Phnom Da and pretty much everywhere else. Helen Ibbitson Jessup and Ang Choulean will share the author duties with the latter concentrating on ethnography and mythology to give the sites their true significance whilst John Gollings will provide the pictures. With a fair wind, this book should be out and about in the next month or two. But don't hold your breath, as I said it's been hanging about as long as my own To Cambodia With Love!