A Woman of Angkor

Overview

This is the first novel by award-winning Washington Post journalist John Burgess.

A Woman of Angkor is historically accurate and a very imaginative telling of the history of World Heritage site Angkor.

"Pure and beautiful, she glows like the moon behind clouds." The time is the 12th Century, the place Cambodia, birthplace of the lost Angkor civilisation. In a village behind a towering stone temple lives a young woman named Sray, whom neighbors liken to the heroine of a Hindu ...

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Overview

This is the first novel by award-winning Washington Post journalist John Burgess.

A Woman of Angkor is historically accurate and a very imaginative telling of the history of World Heritage site Angkor.

"Pure and beautiful, she glows like the moon behind clouds." The time is the 12th Century, the place Cambodia, birthplace of the lost Angkor civilisation. In a village behind a towering stone temple lives a young woman named Sray, whom neighbors liken to the heroine of a Hindu epic. Hiding a dangerous secret, she is content with quiet obscurity, but one rainy season afternoon is called to a life of prominence in the royal court. There her faith and loyalties are tested by attentions from the great king Suryavarman II. Struggling to keep her devotion is her husband Nol, palace confidante and master of the silk parasols that were symbols of the monarch's rank.

This lovingly crafted first novel by former Washington Post correspondent John Burgess revives the rites and rhythms of the ancient culture that built the temples of Angkor, then abandoned them to the jungle. In telling her tale, Sray takes the reader to a hilltop monastery, a concubine pavilion and across the seas to the throne room of imperial China. She witnesses the construction of the largest of the temples, Angkor Wat, and offers an explanation for its greatest mystery - why it broke with centuries of tradition to face west instead of east.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...a perfect pairing for reading groups wanting to explore Cambodia’s ancient and modern history.

--Library Journal

A Woman of Angkoris superb historical fiction that is delightful to read, a phenomenal tale of ancient Angkor told skillfully and with great imagination.
--http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/a-woman-of-angkor/

"In his book A Woman of Angkor, American author John Burgess has managed to recreate a world about which little is known beside the spectacular monuments its people left behind." -- Michelle Vachon, The Cambo

historicalnovelsociety.org
A Woman of Angkor is superb historical fiction that is delightful to read, a phenomenal tale of ancient Angkor told skillfully and with great imagination.
The Cambodia Daily - Michelle Vachon
In his book A Woman of Angkor, American author John Burgess has managed to recreate a world about which little is known beside the spectacular monuments its people left behind.
Library Journal
Built in the 12th century under the reign of Suryavarman, Angkor Wat stands as the largest religious monument in the world. It is also the backdrop for the life of Lady Sray, wife of Nol and mother of Bopa and Sovan. King Suryavarman becomes involved in their lives as Nol becomes the monarch's close confidant and Lady Sray fights to hide a secret connection to the king. Dangerous entanglements grow when Bopa becomes the king's concubine and Sovan designs Angkor Wat with a unique architectural vision. Ultimately, a rebellion forces Sray and her family to question their loyalty to one another and to the king. VERDICT Former Washington Post reporter Burgess, who lived in Southeast Asia for eight years, displays his in-depth knowledge of Khmer civilization and beautifully translates history into fiction in his debut novel. In this epic story, he devotes much time to developing the characters and linking their lives to the events that led to the creation of the awe-inspiring Hindu temple. Although the history of this region might be too complex for casual readers, those with a serious interest in Asian history and culture will find this book fascinating. [Highlighted in "Editors' Spring Picks: Titles That Have Gotten Us Talking," LJ 2/15/13.—Ed.]—Madeline Solien, Deerfield P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9786167339252
  • Publisher: River Books Press Dist A C
  • Publication date: 1/21/2013
  • Pages: 500
  • Sales rank: 704,834
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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