10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2005
The book comprises 3 pieces: 2 of them based in Cambodia (Dancing in Cambodia and Stories in Stones) and 1 in Myanmar/Burma (At Large in Burma). Like some of his other novels (In an antique land) and Amin Malouf's novels, 2 episodes separated by passage of time are inter-woven but linked a common thread; "Dancing in Cambodia" talks about the first ever visit of Cambodian Dance Troupe to France in 1906 and the authors quest for the remnants of this ancient art in the early 1990s in a country that was devastated by one of the worst holocausts of the present times "the Pol Pot Years". Irony is that some of the closest family members of Pol Pot or Saroth Sar, as he was known amongst friends and family; had to under-go the same ordeal as thousands of others. "They were sent off to a village of 'old people', long-time Khmer Rouge sympathizers, and along with all other 'new people', were made to work in the rice-fields."
Stories in Stones look looks at Angkor Wat in context with the present day Cambodia.
At Large in Burma, talks about contemporary political process in Burma where outsiders often give judgements before they understand the true nature of the country. Raked by civil war since its independence, Burma is almost a forgotten country on the world map. A country divided today as Myanmar of Yangon influence and of insurgent's territories; Burma is trying to find a future amongst the debris of the ethnic diversity of South-East Asia. "As in many families - rebellion and violence are aspects of intimacy rather than a distance".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2013
Amitav Ghosh is not only a brilliant writer, he educates and teaches at the same time.
His books should be included within history lessons in european schools. Especially British ones.