Praise for A Woman of Angkor:
'Burgess has done something that I believe is unique in modern writing: set a credible and seemingly authentic tale in the courts and temples of ancient Angkor to stir the imagination and excite our historical interest.'
-John le Carré
'A Woman of Angkor is a powerful work of imagination that takes the reader to a faraway time and place and makes the story vividly real. Through the voice of his heroine, Sray, John Burgess conjures a story of a Khmer family whose lives are interwoven with the building of the magical, mysterious temple of Angkor Wat. This is historical fiction with a difference--about a people whose history has been obscured and abandoned like the magnificent shrine that for so many centuries lay hidden in the jungle.'
-David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post and author of Bloodmoney
'A poignant glimpse into the daily life of Twelfth Century Cambodia. Do you want to know who were the people who built the temples, grew the rice and served in the palace guard? Read A Woman of Angkor.'
-Dawn Rooney, author of Angkor: Cambodia's Wondrous Khmer Temples
'A wonderful and compelling story that vividly evokes the glory, violence, and beauty of the vanished Khmer Empire, as told through the testimony of one remarkable woman. This is a real page-turner of a narrative in which Burgess brings us into the dangerous world of palace intrigues and into the lives of Angkor's ordinary people.'
-Michael D. Coe, author of Angkor and the Khmer Civilization.
This first novel by former Washington Post journalist John Burgess 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 novel 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.
About John Burgess
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Published January 21, 2013
by River Books Press Dist A C.
History, Literature & Fiction, Romance.