Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sarith Peou cited in HARPER'S magazine

Sarith Peou's "Corpse Watching" cited in Harper's Magazine, April 2009

This month's Harper's features a long article on the Cambodian genocide and its aftermath by Ben Ehrenreich, namely "Cambodia's Wandering Dead: The Ghosts of Genocide Pay Penance for Western Guilt." The article is especially brutal on intersections between genocide and tourism in contemporary Cambodia. Ehrenreich opens his essay with a quotation from Sarith Peou's poem, contained in his Tinfish Press chapbook of the same title:

Some corpses catch in the thickets,
Some corpses catch in the reeds,
We don't want their spirits hanging around,
So we give them the push that they need.

We reprinted Sarith's book recently, after it was a finalist for an Asian American Workshop award. The book was designed by Lian Lederman and contains a second "book", which opens from the left, of photographs from the Cambodian Documentation Center in Phnom Penh. I suspect that's where Ehrenreich got his copy of the book.

For more details about the book, please see under "chapbooks"

and consider purchasing one.

Many thanks to Ed Bok Lee, who wrote the book's introduction, for spotting the citation.