Wednesday, June 23, 2010
River Books in Bangkok are a goldmine for interesting publications on Cambodia but their books aren't always readily available. Two new books that I'm itching to get hold of are Beyond Angkor, looking at the country's remote temples through the eyes of Helen Ibbitson Jessup and Ang Choulean, and Khmer Ceramics by Dawn Rooney. I talked about both books in a blog post in March, click here. Also slated for publication is a revised edition of Vittorio Roveda's Khmer Mythology. Another newcomer to the River Books stable is John Burgess' Stories in Stone: The Sdok Kok Thom Inscription and the Enigma of Khmer History. This 198-page publication by a former Washington Post correspondent looks at a little known outpost of the Khmer Empire and how this temple and its inscription have fared since it was written in 1052, including its emergence as a haven for refugees and resistance fighters in the late '70s. The temple itself is located 34 kilometers northeast of the Thai border town of Aranyaprathet and the inscription stone is housed in the Bangkok national museum, where it was severely damaged in a fire in 1958. The temple has undergone extensive reconstruction by the Thai authorities over the past two decades.