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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409093633
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

A Model American

Literary novel set in Cambodia just before the triumph of the Khmer Rouge, by the author of A Rope of Sand

In early 1970 a small plane, en route to Angkor Wat, mysteriously disappears over the Cambodian jungle. Piloted by an American hippie, the passengers are Bill Bolton, a US businessman, his wife Marjorie, their guide a young Englishwoman, and a Cambodian ‘old hand’, a Frenchman.
Stranded helplessly in the jungle, the westerners are found by local peasants, and taken to the relative safety of their own veritable Shangri La. Here, cut off from the outside world, they find an enchanting Buddhist world, full of laughter and festivals; a gentle, sensitive people without greed, violence, or too much work.
As the party adjust to the lotus-eating culture, life presents excitement,pleasure - even love. And an opportunity to bring modern methods to a backward way of life. But a darker, brutal presence threatens to destroy their paradise. The Vietnam war is spilling across Cambodia’s borders, and an insurgency is on the rise that will become the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia must change, but in whose image?
Gripping and beautifully written, A Model American is a multi-dimensional parable showing the American character abroad and its effects when used to ‘improve’ an ancient, alien culture. For many, it will greatly resonate with what is happening in the world today.

  • Pub date: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409093633
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Elsie Burch Donald

Elsie Burch Donald worked as an editor before becoming a novelist. She was born in the USA, attended Sweet Briar, the school in A Rope of Sand, and completed her studies at Edinburgh University. Her first novel Nashborough was published by HarperCollins in 2001, she had also written previously the non-fiction book The French Farmhouse. She divides her time between London and southwest France.

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Praise for A Model American

“The shell of the novel is an adventure story, but its kernel is an exploration of the national attitudes and personal qualities that shape people's responses to world affairs.”

Times Literary Supplement

“A parable of modern-day American interventionism, this story literally pitches its protagonists into the fray.”

The Glasgow Herald

“Much more than a mere jungle survival story . . . as page-turning adventure fiction, A MODEL AMERICAN scores highly. As a warning against the perils of continued globalisation, it deserves to be well read.”

Cambridge Evening News

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