Travelling through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the twilight of the French colonial regime, Norman Lewis witnessed these ancient civilisations as they were before the terrible devastation of the Vietnam war. He creates a portrait of traditional societies struggling to retain their integrity in the embrace of the West. He meets emperors and slaves, brutal plantation owners and sympathetic French officers trapped by the economic imperatives of the colonial experiment.
From tribal animists to Viet-Minh guerrillas, he witnesses this heart-breaking struggle over and over, leaving a vital portrait of a society on the brink of catastrophic change.
As recommended in the Slightly Foxed podcast, Episode 8: Leaving that Place called Home.
‘Mr Lewis can make even a lorry interesting.’ Cyril Connolly, Sunday Times
The Semi-invisible Man
Published in 1952, Golden Earth remains one of the most timeless guides to Burma. It is classic Lewis, crammed with incident, humour, observation and detail. There is no mistaking the poise of his...Read more
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