Publication of an unpublished collection of Cambodian literature

The University of Hawaii Press recently published the largest and most comprehensive collection of Cambodian literature available in English to date. Published in September 2022, From the Shadow of Angkor: Cambodian Poetry, Prose and Performance through the Agesis featured in the biannual publication Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing.

Assembled over 30 years, the book features:

  • 14 centuries of literature, from ancient transcriptions to a graphic novel excerpt (all colors).
  • Literature rescued almost lost during the civil war in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge regime and its aftermath.
  • Literature never before available in English, including translations of Khmer, Sanskrit and French works, as well as pieces written in English by writers from the Cambodian diaspora.

“[T]his book seeks to bring Cambodian literature out of the shadow of the great temples of Angkor and the ashes of a war that killed most of the country’s authors and destroyed countless irreplaceable books, whether by fire, neglect or turning into cigarette paper or toilet paper,” wrote Sharon May, one of the anthology’s five guest editors.

The book includes passages from reamer, an adaptation of the Hindu Ramayana, and works from the Cambodian Golden Age, including Khun Srun on political repression. Emerging writers, poets, musicians and performers are also featured, pushing the boundaries with diverse reflections on contemporary Cambodia and the diaspora.

Members of uh The community can view the works for free through Project Muse.

Step out of the shadow of Angkor is the companion volume of In the shadow of Angkor (spring 2004). Both appear as part of the Manoa series.

More on the Manoa editors

The penultimate issue of the journal was produced by the distinguished and long-serving editorial team Frank Stewart and Pat Matsuedafrom uh Mānoa Department of English before their retirement in the fall of 2022.

Stewart is a writer, translator and founding editor of Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing. He is Emeritus Professor of English at uh Manoa.

Matsueda served as editor of Manoa since 1992.

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