King Norodom’s Head: Phnom Penh Sights Beyond the Guidebooks
by Steven W. Boswell
King Norodom’s Head travels to nooks and crannies of Phnom Penh and the countryside around it. In different places, the reader will learn of a 19th-century king’s gold stash and a top-secret reason behind Jackie Kennedy’s 1967 trip to Cambodia; of a mysterious Frenchman buried on Wat Phnom’s hill and Madame Chum’s infamous opium den; and of an old anchor’s role in a story of intrigue, cloaks and daggers. Each chapter centers on a site that can be visited, someplace or something that can be seen and often touched. But this is not a guidebook with the usual walking tours, detailed descriptions of the Royal Palace, National Museum, or the Khmer Rouge’s infamous killing fields, though all these places make appearances in the book. Here is an eminently readable introduction to the stories and history that make Phnom Penh what it is. If this book encourages visitors to spend an extra day, or it inspires residents to stroll their city’s streets with keener eyes than they normally would, it will have achieved its purpose.
“For people living in the city and for people who are passing through, King Norodom’s Head … is bound to enrich their encounter with this fascinating city. Steve Boswell’s book is a reader’s feast.” ~ David Chandler, author of A History of Cambodia and Voices from S-21
Steven Boswell is from Washington, DC. In 1968 he joined the Peace Corps and was sent to teach at a Saharan oasis in northern Chad. He subsequently taught in Laos, the US, Kuwait, Burundi, Palestine, China, Turkey, Vietnam, Tibet, and finally Cambodia, where for nine years he was a lecturer at The Royal University of Phnom Penh. He currently resides in Phnom Penh.
Publication year: 2015
312 pp / 216mm x 140mm
4 maps, richly illustrated
ISBN: 978-87-7694-178-9, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-177-2, Hardback