Holiday in Cambodia

Holiday in Cambodia

Holiday in Cambodia

by Laura Jean McKay

Black Inc., $24.99 pb, 224pp, 9781863956062

Seamlessly extending from the French occupation of Cambodia to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge and the current tourism industry, Laura Jean McKay’s début short story collection, Holiday in Cambodia, is a powerful portrait of a country long-affected by war and poverty. McKay’s knowledge of the Cambodian landscape underpins the collection. She evokes peak-hour from a motorbike, where ‘everything looks like bushfire, like nicotine’, and notes the forgotten landmines of neighbouring paddocks, which ‘travel like worms’ through loosening earth. In one of the shortest and most affecting pieces, ‘A Thousand Cobs of Corn’, a Cambodian woman looks down at her husband’s hands in the night, ‘which have shaken since he was a boy soldier’.

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Published in October 2013, no. 355
Alice Bishop

Alice Bishop

Alice Bishop has recently completed a Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at Melbourne University. She is from Christmas Hills but currently resides in Carlton.
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