Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eye, eye

I can't see much at the moment. I have an eye infection that has closed up much of both of my eyes and given me skin rashes on my wrists. When I visited the doctor last night, even before I sat down he said, "asthma." I told him that I suffered a lot with asthma as a child and he said, it was the reason for my eye and skin problems, that may've been triggered by the weather, or by a nut allergy! He convinced me he knew what he was talking about when he showed me the problem in a medical textbook with colour photos. It was exactly what I was suffering with. Every few years I get a bout of asthma and need an inhaler to make it more comfortable but this is the first time my eyes have puffed up badly and rashes appeared. I'm now on a course of treatment and if it works, I will have great faith in the Cambodian medical profession; if it doesn't work... well, let's hope it works!

Even though I can't see it for myself... the best novel on Cambodia for a long, long time, Geoff Ryman's The King's Last Song, has just been unleashed onto an American audience for the first time by Small Beer Press. Originally published by HarperCollins two years ago, the new edition has an extended afterword by the author in which Ryman notes how both his sources and experiences added to the writing of the novel. In it, Ryman brings some substance, albeit fictional, to the life and times of the god-King Jayavarman VII, and he does it brilliantly in my view. If you haven't read the novel yet, I implore you to get out there and buy it. Find out more here.
The publisher's blog reports: The cover of Geoff Ryman’s The King's Last Song is made up of two photos, one by Pablo Carral Vega (from Corbis) and one by Jeremy Horner (Panos). Our cover is a variation on the UK HarperCollins edition with a new typeface, new text, and so on. The files we got from HarperCollins were complicated, quite beautiful, and fascinating to work with. This book sold pretty well in the UK so we are sending it out far and wide to try and generate some good reviews and word of mouth. There aren’t many novels set in Cambodia (either modern day or historical) so this one fills a gap. Booklist gave it a starred review and Library Journal gave it a strong recommendation. We, of course, do too! It’s a gobsmackingly-large canvas novel to dive into - very much autumn out on the hammock reading. Geoff is teaching this semester at UC San Diego (where he just taught at the Clarion Workshop, too), so if you’re in the area look out for possible readings.


OpenID alisonincambodia said...

Wow Andy that sounds uncomfortable. I hope you have a speedy recovery!

September 16, 2008 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Have faith in Cambodia Medical Profession, Andy, be strong and don't cry ;-)
Hopefully you got the light in your eyes back before we hit some bars around town just before I move...

September 16, 2008 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you are sick. I hope it is not serious. Get well soon, from your blog's fan.

September 17, 2008 9:22 AM  

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