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A New Sun Rises Over the Old Land

A Novel of Sihanouk's Cambodia

Suon Sorin (author) Roger Nelson (trans)

ISBN: 9789813250772

Publication Date: Nov 2019

Format: Paperback

Traces the story of Sam, a young man who leaves the countryside for the capital after the death of his parents. Once there he is exposed to the hardships and injustice of the city's capitalist society. All Sam wants to do is earn an honest wage for an honest day's work, but he is constantly thwarted by those with money.
£14.95

Temporarily out of stock: usually despatched in 10-14 days

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A New Sun Rises Over the Old Land traces the story of Sam, a young man who leaves the countryside for the capital after the death of his parents. Once there he is exposed to the hardships and injustice of the city's capitalist society. All Sam wants to do is earn an honest wage for an honest day's work, but he is constantly thwarted by those with money: his landlord, the woman from whom he rents his cyclo, factory bosses and politicians.

The city takes its toll on Sam and his wife, Soy, despite the kindness and generosity offered by their friends who are also only barely managing to scrape by. Sam's humanity is denied him at every turn leading to the devastation of his small family and his surrender to temptation.

As the country develops and Sam's fortunes change, he realises that while the life of a farmer is far from easy, it is one that has the potential to bring fulfilment and happiness.

First published in 1961, eight years after Cambodia gained independence from French colonial rule, A New Sun Rises Over the Old Land by Suon Sorin is an iconic work of modern Khmer literature. The novel–a singularly illuminating historical document of the new nation–offers a fresh view into a period of profound transformation in Cambodia and a region that was coming to know itself and to be known as "Southeast Asia."

One of the first English translations of a modern Khmer novel from the decades between independence and the Khmer Rouge atrocities of the 1970s, the novel is accompanied by an extended introduction. In it, translator Nelson situates the author, Suon Sorin, in his historical and artistic context, and points to the novel's value as literature, as well as a resource for students of Cambodia including art historians, urbanists, and regional specialists.

Reviews

"Reading this passionate, absorbing novel, it's poignant to re-enter a period that was filled for many Cambodians with optimism."
Illustrations 2 illustrations
Pages 168
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Nov 2019
Publisher NUS Press
Subject/s Asian history   Biography & True Stories   Fiction   Population & demography  
Roger Nelson is an art historian specialized in Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art, and a curator at National Gallery Singapore.

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