Kismuth Books will release a new title, Breakfast in Cambodia, on September 1. It’s by author Dipika Kohli (TEDx, NPR). Breakfast in Cambodia is the first in book in a new series, The Village Report, which chronicles the true story of abandoning a way of life and a set of ideals for ‘how things should be done.’
About the book
‘ONE OF THE THINGS that I hope this book will do is show a brighter, more warm side of Cambodia than is usually portrayed through a Western lens,’ says Kohli. ‘This has been one of the most exciting places I’ve ever seen, rich in juxtapositions and open with its anything-can-happen personality. I love Phnom Penh, and I want to show, as best I can and as respectfully of the local people that I might, what two and a half years observing and taking notes, quietly and from the margins, has taught me.’
The Village Report started as a monthly column for two US publications from 2013-2015, both in places where Kohli has ties. (Saathee in North Carolina, and the Northwest Asian Weekly in Seattle). Breakfast in Cambodia is a true story of disconnecting from life in a rich, Western country for one year on ‘the road’ in south and southeast Asia. Of landing in Phnom Penh, and reinventing a sense of self. (Also see: ‘How I started writing the Village Report‘).
What solitude, time, distance and quiet space can teach us about our innermost selves is the heart of this story, she says. ‘I really think this next thing,’ says Kohli. ‘I believe this. That in our modern world, the village is one to which we all belong—as humanity. There is a quiet, strong, ancient village that dates back centuries. It’s ours. It’s beautiful. And it belongs to all of us.’
‘AFTER THE STORY ENDS you think you have a way to talk about what happened,’ says Kohli. ‘The good stuff, the road, the sharing, the journey. You try to do this in a way that’s cohesive and consistent. You put things into 750-word columns for someone somewhere on the other side of the world, whom you hope will enjoy it. You want to know if someone is reading, and engaging, and every so often you will get a tiny note that says something like, “I clip your essay every month,” and it makes you think, Keep going.‘
You are invited
VIRTUAL AND REAL-LIFE book launch is set for THURSDAY, Sept. 1, at 6PM ICT.
IF YOU ARE IN Phnom Penh, kindly join Kismuth, Dipika Kohli, and a few others for an evening of light games, conversation, and readings at The Terrace on Street 95 on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 6-8PM. here is the facebook event page for the September 1 launch. No RSVP required. Free. Ages 0+. Open invite, all welcome.