Holiday in Cambodia

Shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Literary Award 2014 and the Queensland Literary Award 2014.

Out now through Black Inc

Beyond the killing fields and the temples of Angkor is Cambodia: a country with a genocidal past and a wide, open smile. A frontier land where anything is possible – at least for the tourists.

In Holiday in Cambodia Laura Jean McKay explores the electric zone where local and foreign lives meet. There are tender, funny moments of tentative understanding, as well as devastating re-imaginings of a troubled history.

Three backpackers board a train, ignoring the danger signs – and find themselves in the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

Elderly sisters are visited by their vampire niece from Australia and set out to cure her.

A singer creates a sensation in swinging 1969, on the eve of an American bombing campaign.

These are bold and haunting stories by a remarkable new talent.

Praise for Holiday in Cambodia:

‘Each of these stories is like catching a snippet of a conversation or looking into a lit window in a dark night, and loitering longer than you should to hear and see what characters inadvertently reveal about themselves. Holiday in Cambodia shows the ugly side of post-colonial tourism as well as moments of great pathos and dignity; in a compelling and empathetic voice.’ – Alice Pung

‘Polished, Hemingwayesque snapshots, vivid and atmospheric’ – Steven Carroll

‘Subtly encompassing … these unostentatiously wrought stories look at the residual effects on their characters of the low, persistent fallout of catastrophe.’ James Tierney, The Australian

‘An insightful book, written with the kind of quiet charm I find in Chekhov’s short stories, and gentle with eloquence.’ Victoria Reeve, Text Journal

‘The stories combine to form a powerful whole in portraying the collision of history, atrocity, destitution and decadence in a futile search for ‘the real Cambodia’.’ The NSW Premiers’ Literary Award 2014

  ***

Holiday in Cambodia is out now through Black Inc

You can listen to a sample story here.

 

Reviews

Read a review by James Tierney in The Australian

Read a review by Victoria Reeve on Text Journal

Read a review by Paul Donoughue on Crikey.com here 

Read a review by Jo Boyce on the Readings website here

Read a review by Travis Englefield on artsHub here

Read a review by Patrick Allington on his blog here

Read a review by Mikayla Baines on Scissors Paper Pen here

 


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