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ARCHITECTURE OF SIAM
: A Cultural History Interpretation

by Aasen, Clarence


Book order code : I 8753



This book about the special and identifying role architecture has played over the last fifteen centuries in the construction of the highly diverse and complex culture of Siam is the culmination of ten years of research on Chinese and South-East Asian architecture and art. Combining a concern with aesthetics, power, and agency, and placing the artifacts in their historical and cultural contexts, it argues that architecture, in itself, has been amongst the more generic, primordial, and empowering phenomena of Siamese cultural content and expression. The book challenges particularly the idea of architecture as a pure cultural product by counterpoising the quest for authenticity, indigenous creative genius, and the production of local distinctiveness with foreign influences, appropriations, and homogenizing forces such as universalism and modernism. The hybrid and multivalent qualities of much of this architecture are seen to produce aesthetically rich and refined cultural artefacts which serve an essential and creative role in the construction of Siamese culture.

The combination of written and visual content with contemporary theoretical underpinnings makes this the most comprehensive, critical, and challenging interpretation of Siamese architecture that has been written.

The author is Chair and Professor of Architecture (Design), Schools of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1998)
310 pp., illus, 31 pp. in col, 10 pp. maps, 255 x 215 mm

 

 

THE CHAO PHYA
: River in Transition

by Beek, Steve Van

US$32.00
Book order code : I 8435


Flowering through the heart of Thailand, the copious waters of the Chao Phya River system provide a key to understanding the Thai people, their history, culture, and probable future. The Chao Phya, with its four tributaries, has has enabled the Thai people to create a prosperous economy and a stable political environment. More than any other river system in Asia, it has served as the source of life for a flourishing agricultural sector, protected its cities from enemies. Moreover, it has made a profound contributions of themselves and the world.

In recent years, however, the role of the Chao Phya River has been changing in ways detrimental to its future. Far from declining in importance, it is more vital than ever, but its benefits are being compromised by modes of usage that threaten not only Thailand's economic health but also its social stability.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1995)
242 pp., 62 pp. illus., 16 pp. in col., 14 maps, 195 x 255 mm, hard

 

TO SIAM AND MALAYA IN THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND'S YACHT SANS PEUR

by Caddy, Florence

US$14.00
Book order code : I 8 123



Covering a journey through the Red Sea to India, Singapore, and Siam with a return via Malaya, Ceylon, and Egypt in a luxurious yacht, the book presents an entertaining and historically valuable account of exotic travel. Caddy, invited to join the yacht as "geographer and naturalist," offers first hand descriptions of court life and much information on the work she was engaged in.

(Singapore 1992; repr. from 1889)
372 pp., 1 pp. illus., 1 map, 130 x 195 mm, pbk.

 

 

FADED SPLENDOUR, GOLDEN PAST
: Urban Iamges of Burma

by Cangi, Ellen Corwin

US$17.00
Book order code : I 8115

 

Faded Splendour, Golden Past: Urban Images of Burma focuses on Burma's best-known and most-often visited cities: Pagan, Mandalay, and Rangoon. It analyses the role each city played at critical periods in Burma's history from ancient times up to World War II. Pagan and Mandalay were both associated with the rise and fall of two of Burma's great empires founded by the Pagan and Konbaung dynasties. Even though centuries separate them, there are surprising similarities between the two royal capitals. In contrast, everything about Rangoon from its physical layout to the amenities which it offered were vastly different.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1997) Barcode 978-983-5600-10-4
123 pp., 42 pp. illus., 16 pp., 130 x 195 mm.

 

CULTURAL SITES OF BURMA, THAILAND, AND CAMBODIA

by Dumarçay, Jacques & Michael Smithies

US$28.00
Book order code : I 8 081

 



The considerable number of mainland Southeast Asia's ancient cultural sites are increasingly visited and appreciated by overseas travelers. The complex of Angkor in Cambodia is again open, and Burma has its equivalent in Pagan and in the more recent center of Mandalay, where the last Burmese king held court. Thailand has a large number of monumental architectural sites in addition to the well-known ones of Ayuthia and Sukhothai. The religious structures, those that have survived, are given prominence in this volume.

(Kuala Lumpur 1995)
156 pp., fully illus., 16 pp. in color, 195 x 255 mm

 

CULTURAL SITES OF MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, AND INDONESIA

by Dumarçay, Jacques & Michael Smithies

US$33.00
Book order code : I 8082

 


South-East Asia has a considerable number of ancient cultural sites which are visited and appreciated by an increasing number of overseas travellers. This books covers the main archaeological and architectural sites found in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Each is declined and its salient features noted and placed in the general context of the country and the region. Plates and original figures, including axonometric drawings produced specially for the book, enhance the reader's appreciation of the extremely rich and varied cultural past of these sites.

As has been shown in the authors' previous volume, Cultural Sites of Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, it is essentially the religious structures which have survived and which are given prominence.

Jacques Dumarçay was, until his retirement, an architect with the Êcole Française d'Etrême Orient specializing in the monuments of South-East Asia. MIchael Smithies recently retires from the United Nations after an academic career spent in South-East Asia.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1988)
138 pp., 80 pp. illus., 14 pp. in col., 195 x 255 mm

 

THE SITE OF ANGKOR

by Dumarçay, Jacques

US$16.00
Book order code : I 8088

 

 

Of the numerous cultural sites in Cambodia, the best known by far is Angkor. The great archaeological remains found there are ranked among the most important in the world. The Site of Angkor introduces the reader to this remarkable complex. Its main focus is on the principal phases of construction at Angkor which reached their peaks with Angkor Wat and subsequently with Angkor Thom. It also narrates the pillage, temporary reoccupation, dormancy, rediscovery, and restoration of Angkor. Jacques Dumarçay has spent a lifetime of research devoted to Angkor and other archaeological sites in South-East Asia. He is a leading expert on the temples and is admirably placed to summarize their most important features.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1998) Barcode 978-983-5600-40-1
98 pp., 35 pp. illus., 14 pp. in color., 135 x 200 mm, hard cover

 

SINGAPORE HOUSE AND RESIDENTIAL LIFE 1819-1939

by Edwards, Norman


Book order code : I 8101

 


The image of the present-day city-state of Singapore is variously one of a giant park criss-crossed by expressway, of architecturally monotonous high-rise buildings, of occasional terrace-houses and shops preserved from a bygone age, and of civic buildings representing its imperial past. But the eye may also glimpse through the luxuriant growth of vegetation palatial residences, formerly occupied by the rich Chinese, wealthy expatriates, and high colonial officials, and modest bungalows, once home to middle-class families. It is such detached houses and their evolution over a period of 120 years-from the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 to the twilight of British rules at the end of the 1930s - which are the subject of this book.

Singapore grew up in the shadow of Calcutta but by the 1870s the Palladian style of Georgian England and of Colonial India was already evolving into a form more appropriate to Singapore's life-style and climate. However, this transformation was not to prevail in the context of the rapid social and economic change in the years to follow; and soon houses were being built in a medley of imported styles, ranging through Victorian Gothic to Queen Anne Dutch and, later, from mock-Tudor to the Modernist.

Although the focus of The Singapore House and Residential Life 1819-1939 is architectural, the story is also bound up with the multicultural nature of Singapore society - with its strong Chinese, Malay, Indian, and British influences - and the great changes which took place over a period of 120 years. The book is divided into four parts: the first describes the emergence of the detached house as an ingredient of Raffles' trading station and as a product of external cultural influence; in the second, the book portrays the process of suburbanization, arising from developments in England and India during the period 1880 - 1939; Part III shows the house in terms of domestic life and attitudes and social change; and the IV discusses the house in architectural terms, technical and stylistic.

The 200 illustrations provide a complete visual history of the subject and form an integral part of the text.

The author, formerly an Associate Professor of Architecture at the National University of Singapore, is currently in practice in London.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1991)
299 pp., fully illus., 190 x 250 mm, pbk.

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS IN THAILAND

by Gerson, Ruth

US$18.00
Book order code : I 8390


Thailand's cultural heritage is rich with holidays and festivals. Religious holidays commemorating important events in the life of the Buddha, royal holidays celebrating dynastic and personal events, agricultural holidays seeking bountiful harvests, and cultural festivities portraying prominent periods in Thai cultural history all contribute to a kaleidoscope of colorful activities that have long captured the hearts of the local people as well as the interest of visitors. In this books, the author discusses the reasons for observing the various festivals, the origins and legends that surround them, and the location and time of year they take place, and shows how, in Thailand, religion and culture are intertwined.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1996)
92 pp., 36 pp. illus., 16 pp. in col., 135 x 200 mm

 

 

SPLENDID SYMBOLS
: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia

by Gittinger, Mattiebelle

US$42.00
Book order code : I 1457


The indonesian world is full of wonders and possesses an almost unrivalled variety of cultural manifestations within its compass. Amongst the lesser known aspects of Indonesia's rich cultural heritage - at least until recent times - has been the wealth of artistry in her textiles. Indonesian textiles have played a far more extensive and significant role than as mere sources of apparel or articles of trade. They have formed an integral part of the lives, beliefs and traditions of the diverse peoples of the islands and have reflected the intricate complexity of a vigorous indigenous culture flourishing in an immense variety of forms. Splendid Symbols was first published by the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., in 1979 and reprinted with additional colour plates by Oxford University Press in 1985. This edition, enhanced by further colour plates and an updated bibliography, serves not only as an introduction to the textiles of Indonesia themselves, but also as an introduction to the culture of the people who produce them.

(Singapore, 1991)
243 pp., 22 pp. illus. in col., 230 x 280 mm, pbk.

 

 

BALI AND ANGKOR
: A 1930s Pleasure Trip Looking at Life and Death

by Gorer, Geoffrey

US$13.00
Book order code : I 4207


In the early 1930s, Geoffrey Gorer, who had already made his mark with Africa Dances (now reissued in the Penguin Travel Library), went on a three months' pleasure trip to Sumatra, Java, Bali, Thailand and Cambodia. Although, as he modestly points out in the Foreword to Bali and Angkor, he 'was obviously debarred from writing a serious book about these regions', he was nevertheless able to produce a very superior book of travel which can be read with great enjoyment today - fifty years after publication. Recent travel writing about South-East Asia may describe more adventurous journeys, contain more practical information and be more splendidly illustrated, but what Bali and Angkor lacks in these respects is more than made up for by Geoffrey Gorer's very considerable powers of observation and his interest in trying to interpret the role that art and religion play in the life of the Balinese and the Khmers. His writing also has great style.

If it is correct that genuine travel has become a lost art, one of the best ways to experience it vicariously would be to read Bali and Angkor.

(Singapore, 1991)
280 pp., 40 pp. illus., 125 x 195 mm, pbk.

 

VIETNAMESE AND CHINESE CERAMICS USED IN THE JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY

by Honda, Hiromu and Noriki Shimazu

US$55.00
Book order code : I 6335

 

Various objects are needed to conduct a tea ceremony with decorum. Most important among them are ceramics: bowls for sipping the tea from, vessels for holding and pouring water, side dishes for passing carefully prepared and visually appealing sweets and cakes,caddies for holding powdered tea, covered boxes for incense, vases for flower arrangements, and candle-holders and other paraphernalia for decoration and atmosphere. Devotees of the tea ceremony also place emphasis on the environment - a tranquil, secluded room or garden pavilion is preferred - where friends, mostly connoisseurs and collectors, can settle on tatami mats, talk, and enjoy the rituals as well as the accoutrements - preferably antique ware - associated with the ceremony.

The collection illustrated and described in this book was assembled over a decade by Hiromu Honda and Noriki Shimazu. It is in impeccable taste and will appeal not only to the Asian collector of ceramics because of its strong aesthetic value but also to the Western collector curious about Japanese preferences: a calm and functional beauty, technical perfection, and historical identification.

The book, which was originally published in Japanese, is arranged in three parts. The subject of the first is ceramics made in Vietnam from pre-Christian days until the sixteenth century; the subject of the second and third is Chinese porcelain and stoneware of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

(Singapore, 1993)
238 pp., fully illus. in col., 195 x 260 mm

THE CHERSONESE WITH THE GILDING OFF

by Inner, Emily

US$22.00
Book order code : I 1405

The Chersonese with the Gilding Off is usually described as a companion volume to Isabella Bird's better-known The Golden Chersonese, published in 1883 and also available as an Oxford Paperback. As Emily Innes remarks,

'...it may seem curious that, notwithstanding the brilliancy and attractiveness of [Isabella Bird's] descriptions, and the dullness and gloom of mine, I can honestly say that her account is perfectly and literally true. So is mine. The explanation is that she and I saw the Malayan country under totally different circumstances.'

Whereas Isabella Bird was an experienced traveller, with a reputation as a writer and with easy access to those who mattered, Emily Innes was an ordinary person, married to a minor government official, and hardly a traveller at all. Rather, she spent six years living a lonely life in remote, uncomfortable, and unhealthy places, participating reluctantly in the pettiness of colonial society and in the life of the kampung around her. Arguably, today's reader may find The Chersonese with the Gilding Off a more memorable book. Emily Innes's writing is stark, with a wry sense of humour, and she writes from the inside (and not as an observer from afar on short visit) recording what she saw with considerable accuracy. She was also a woman of some mettle, as her book indicates.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1993)
546 pp., 130 x 195 mm, pbk.

THE CHANGING FACE OF MALAYSIA CRAFTS
: Identity, Industry, and Ingenuity

by Leigh, Barbara

US$25.00
Book order code : N 2904

Malaysian crafts, like indigenous crafts around the world, are undergoing great change as the result of the phenomenal rise in domestic and international tourism on the demand side and as a result of globalization pressures on the supply side. The Changing Face of Malaysian Crafts aims to give a personal face to some of those changes that are taking place within Malaysia.

Subtitled Identity, Industry, and Ingenuity, this book weaves together the themes of national identity creation through the medium of material culture, the increasing role of industry in craft production, and the ingenuity of talented craftspeople whose creativity and sensitivity are depicted in their crafts as art.

The book has been carefully researched and carries a detailed bibliography. It commences with a comprehensive historical introduction. As each of the crafts its examined, it is evident that contemporary crafts often carry inspiration from traditional past. Metalware, beadwork and gold-thread embroidery, ornamented textiles, fiberware and bamboo products, potter, woodcarving, and recreation and ritual activities are explored in this context.

Richly illustrated both in colour and in black and white, this book will be of special interest to those who wish to understand social continuities and change as depicted in the modern face of Malaysian crafts.

(Kuala Lumpur, 2000)
182 pp., illus. 32 pp. in col, 195 x 255 mm

THE ENGLISH GOVERNESS AT THE SIAMESE COURT
: Being Recollections of Six Years in the Royal Palace at Bangkok

by Leonowens, Anna Harriette


Book order code : I 8391

The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870) vividly recounts the experiences of one Anna Harriete Leonowens as governess for the sixty-plus children of King Mongkut of Siam, English teacher for its entire royal family, and translator and scribe for the King himself. Bright, young, and energetic, Leonowens was well-suited to these roles, and her writting covey a heartfelt interest in the lives, legends, and languages of Siam's rich and poor. She also tells of how she and the King often disgreed on matters domestic. After all, this was the first time King Mongkut had met a woman who dared to contradict him, and the governess found the very idea of male domination intolerable. Overworked and underpaid, Leonowens would eventually resign, but her exchanges with His Majesty - heated and otherwise - on topics like grammar, charity, slavery, polirics, and religion add much to her diary's rich, crosscultural spirit, its East-meets-West appeal.

Over the years, that appeal has only increased. Eighty years after it first appeared, this memoir inspired the popular book and film, Anna and the King of Siam, and a few years later the hit musical, The King and I. Now comes yet another version, Anna and the King, the new film starring Jodie Foster and Yun-Fat Chow. Here, then, is the original tale, presented with many reproductions of the fine drawings taht the King had offered as gifts to Leonowens. The English Governess at the Siamese Court remains engaging as a story of adventure, fascinating as a picture of nineteenth-century Bangkok, and intriguing as an account of life inside King Mongkut's place.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1988)
353 pp., 16 pp. illus., 135 x 200 mm, pbk.

SARAWAK CRAFTS
: Methods, Materials, and Motifs

by Munan, Heidi

US$17.00
Book order code : I 8106

Sarawak Crafts describes the material culture of those Borneo people found in significant number within the East Malaysian State of Sarawak. In this slim but comprehensive volume, the author introduces us to the major crafts of the region - carving, metalwork, plaiting and basketry, beadwork, and weaving - which not only incorporate many of the beliefs of the people and reflect their way of life but use the simplest of materials from the tropical rain forest which still covers much of the State. Although methods, materials, and motifs are changting to suit market demands and the availability of materials, the skill and artistic sentivity of the indigenous people of Sarawak remain reflected in those crafts which are still being made today.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1994)
120 pp., 54 pp. illus., 16 pp. in col., 135 x 195 mm

CLASSICAL DANCE AND THEATRE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

by Miettinen, Jukka O.

US$32.00
Book order code : I 8080

This lavishly illustrated book provides an introduction to the rich traditions of South-East Asian dance, theatre, and puppet theatre. In South-East Asia, as elsewhere in Asia, it is often not possible to draw a clear line between dance and theatre. Most theatrical forms are performed by dance movements or with dance-like gestures to the accompaniment of music. South-East Asian theatre is also characterized by the interaction of puppet theatre and living theatre which have their roots firmly in history. The movements and gestures of dancer-actors, the stories and their specific language, the musical instruments, and the elaborate costumes and masks can be hundreds or even thousands of years old.

The book focuses mainly on classical traditions which are still performed, and separate chapters are devoted to Burma, Thailand, Java, and Bali. Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos, where the classical traditions have partly disappeared or where performances incorporating these are now difficult for outsiders to see, are also referred to. Because South-East Asia has a significant Chinese population with its own theatrical traditions, Chinese theatre in the region and the Chinese-influenced theatre of Vietnam are discussed separately.

(Singapore, 1992)
193 pp., fully illus., 32 pp. in col., 195 x 255 mm

VOTIVE TABLETS IN THAILAND
: Origin, Styles, and Uses

by Pattaratorn Chirapravati, ML

US$15.00
Book order code : I 8095

Buddhism has influenced many aspects of Thai life for over a thousand years. Evidence of the change and development of Buddhist ideas and practices in different regions and cultural periods of Thailand can be found in the archaeological remains of temples, stupas, sculptures, paintings, and votive tablets.

This book focuses on the origin, development of styles, and uses of votive tablets in Thailand from their introduction in the sixth century CE to their present role in the almost universal Thai practice of wearing amulets. The book first describes the introduction of Buddhism to Thailand and the practice of making votive tablets during the pre-Thai periods of the Mon, the Khmer, and the residents of the Peninsula (sixth to thirteenth centuries). Then it presents votive tablets produced during the Thai periods of Sukhothai, Haripunjaya, Ayutthaya, Lanna, and Ratanakosin from the fourteenth century to the present. Lastly, it addresses the cult of amulets and the 'merchants of Buddhism'.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1997)
108 pp., 47 pp. illus., 16 pp. in color, 135 x 200 mm

ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND IN MYTH, ART, AND REALITY

by Ringis, Rita

US$25.00
Book order code : I 8 075

This book surveys a wide range of elephant lore in Thailand, past and present. Early Thai writings, both sacred and secular, centuries-old European travelers' tales, and more recent diplomatic correspondence with the West concerning the role of the elephant in Thai life are touched upon, providing an interesting historical perspective. Also explained are the religious, artistic, and literary backgrounds underpinning Thai attitudes to elephants, both real and mythical. The elephants of present-day Thailand are also described, whether as the rarely glimpsed wild herds, as "students" in the unique elephant training school, as workers in forests, or as participants in the great annual round-up at Surin.

(Kuala Lumpur 1996)
224 pp., fully illus., 16 pp. in color, 195 x 255 mm

THAI TEMPLES AND TEMPLE MURALS

by Ringis, Rita


Book order code : I 5 136

This book surveys the fundamental ancient Hindu and Buddhist concepts about the nature of the Universe and the place in it of man, gods, and guardian creatures as manifested in the traditions of Thai religious architecture and painting. The forces contributing to these traditions are examined from both a regional and historical perspective. The evolution of temple structures and ornately decorated assembly halls acquaint the reader with the significance and symbolism that is constant throughout Thai monastic architecture. The subject matter of temple murals is outlined through a detailed examination of murals depicting the life of the Buddha. An extensive study with numerous historical prints.

(Singapore 1990)
269 pp., fully illus., 16 pp. in color, 195 x 260 mm

CONTEMPORARY TIE AND DYE TEXTILES OF INDONESIA

by Saunders, Kim Jane

US$42.00
Book order code : I 8076

Hand-spun and hand-woven textiles have always been an integral part of the cultures of South-East Asia. As a dynamic art form, threads woven and worn often provide a revealing insight into the past and present lives of the weavers and wearers.

Throughout the island of the Indonesian archipelago, a diverse sea of textiles is found in shops, markets, and villages. Although traditional textiles have been well documented, no study has focused exclusively on contemporary production within this dynamic tradition.

This book maps contemporary areas of production and markets, and documents a cross-section of current practices and examples of tie and dye weaving in Indonesia. Aimed at both the textile student and the general reader, it provides a fascinating introduction to the diversity of the textiles of each of the main islands as well as useful guidance on their identification and classication.

The author is a freelance lecturer and teacher. She was formerly Chairman of the Ganesha Volunteers at the National Museum in Jakarta.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1997)
220 pp., 71 pp. illus., 32 pp. in color, 1 map, 195 x 225 mm

BURMESE DANCE AND THEATRE

by Singer, Noel F.

US$16.00
Book order code : I 8108

Although Burma's dance styles were originally influenced by neighbouring cultures and its theatre forms by the staging of Buddhist stories and propitiation ceremonies of spirit cults, both genres developed distinctive forms in response to the country's rich cultural and religious mix and to changing political circumstances. The book traces the history of dance and theatre in Burma in the courts and the countryside, and describes the various dances, plays, and musical accompaniment that evolved as a result of changing tasted and the need to attract audiences. Drawing on hitherto unavailable Burmese sources, the author also presents a vivid picture of the little known and precarious world of the court entertainers and itinerant troupes and the leading personalities of the times.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1995)
122 pp., 30 pp. illus., 16 pp. in col., 135 x 200 mm

ACEH ART AND CULTURE

by Smith, Holly S.

US$19.00
Book order code : I 8110

Aceh is perhaps the region in Indonesia that best fits the archipelago's motto of Bhinneka Tunggai Ika (Unity in Diversity). The roots of Aceh's history reach out through South-East Asia to India, China, and the Middle East, bringing in a variety of cultural flavourings into its 'winnowing basket'. These diverse influences, culled from trade ventures, foreign battles, and religious missions, have, through time, been sifted carefully and blended into the art and traditions of the indigenous peoples. The Acehnese have a proudly independent nature developed from its seafaring tradition, mercantile mindset, warring background, and the fervour of Islam. This book focuses on the history of Aceh, its diverse heritage, and the artistic forms of expression of its people.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1997)
69 pp., 37 pp. illus., 16 pp. in col., 1 map, 135 x 200 mm

DESCRIPTIONS OF OLD SIAM

by Smithies, Michael

US$18.00
Book order code : I 8495

Siam, known from 1930 to 1945 and since 1948 as Thailand, was first written about by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, by the Dutch and the French in the seventeenth, and by numerous visitors of all nationalities from the middle of the nineteenth century, when, under the influence, first of King Mongkut, and then his son and successor, King Chulalongkorn, the country opened up and residents and visitors became more common. The accounts of these early diplomats, merchants, missionaries, and plain tourists make fascinating reading and allow the modern reader to see both the continuities and changes in the country renowned for its exoticism. Michael Smithies has selected generously from these accounts in order to give a picture of the country as a whole, not just its capital, at first Ayutthaya, then Bangkok, where the kings held sway, but also the different regions of the country: the south, the north, and the north-east.

For the contemporary visitor in search of earlier impressions, this volume will be revealing and instructive, and will complement the standard travel guide in an unusual, informative, and often amusing way.

(Kuala Lumpur, 1995)
320 pp., 24 pp. illus., 1 pp. in col., 2 maps, 130 x 195 mm, pbk.

THE PROSTITUTE

by Surangkhanang, K

US$17.00
Book order code : N 2719

The Prostitute first appeared in 1937 and created an immediate stir in Thai literary circles, both for its sympathetic portrayal of prostitutes and because its author was a young lady from a respectable family. It tells the story of Reun, a young girl from up-country who is seduced by a city pimp and tricked into prostitution. While working in a Bangkok brothel, she falls in love with a young man of noble background who promises to rescue her. He disappears, however, before she can tell him she is pregnant with his child. Much of the novel is devoted to lively portrayal her struggles to provide for herself and her child. and her exploitation at the hands of employers, rent-collectors, money-lenders, and child-minders.

For the reader today, the novel offers a fascinating Thai reaction to the problem of prostitution in an age long before the advent of the American military presence or mass tourism.

The author, K. Surangkhanang, is a household name in Thai literary world. A number of her most popular novels have been made into films and television plays. In 1986 she was honored with the title 'National Artist'.

(New York, 2001)
240 pp., 130 x 195 mm., pbk


MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA

by Taylor, Eric

US$13.00
Book order code : I 4733

A century ago, the sound of Javanese gamelan orchestra made a deep and lasting impression upon the young Debussy, and many composers after him, including Ravel, Messiaen, and Britten, have found inspiration in the characteristic principles of the region's ancient musical traditions and in its distinctive sonorities.

Inevitably, contact with a different musical language at once prompts many questions; and this book is an attempt to set the scene and to answer the most essential of these, in as non-technical a way as possible. It focuses on the most immediately arresting feature of South-East Asian music, the instruments themselves, with the instruments set in the context of their musical function and of the history, beliefs, and social customs which the music expresses.

The author is Emeritus Professor of Music, University of Durham, and was a founder of the Durham Oriental Music Festival.

(New York, 1989)
109 pp., 16 pp. illus. in col., 135 x 200 mm

 
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