Out of the Shadows of Angkor: Cambodian Poetry, Prose, and Performance through the Ages
Out of the Shadows of Angkor: Cambodian Poetry, Prose, and Performance through the Ages is the largest collection of Cambodian and Cambodian diaspora writing available in English to date. Emerging from a thirty-year effort to gather, publish, and translate local religious, literary, and popular texts, this anthology makes available a broad spectrum of Cambodian writing originally composed in Khmer, Sanskrit, and French, as well as works by overseas Cambodians in English.
Featuring ninety-three texts from over sixty contributors and spanning nearly four hundred pages, the collection aims to celebrate some of the many highlights of Cambodian writing from the seventh century to the present. Religious works include Hindu and Mahayana Buddhist stone inscriptions; epic poems transcribed from fragile manuscripts; ritual chants invoking local gods and goddesses; and verse novels, didactic poems, and funeral songs that draw from the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Secular texts include a selection of bawdy folksongs and oral tales; excerpts from some of the most celebrated novellas between the 1940s and 1980s; bold, experimental poetry and essays from the late twentieth and early twentieth-first centuries; and a range of performed genres for the stage, including pop favorites, bardic tunes, traditional dramas, and contemporary plays.