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. 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.
'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