Received one of our first reviews from a retired UC Berkeley professor. The big push for reviews will be for our Amazon launch around March 1.
I have just finished reading SINXAY and I was captivated by the way the two of you brought this ancient myth very much to life for English language readers. The narrative of the tale itself is engaging—-I was really drawn back into the magical world of Lao myth and lore. In addition to your animated retelling of an important Lao literary/poetic masterpiece you have brought the reader into the present as well. Your integration of photography, restored mural art, and commissioned depictions of mythological events makes the story just that much more compelling.Rather than encountering a dry recounting of a long lost tale, your presentation furthers our understanding of the importance of Buddhist teaching and pre-Buddhists concepts of magic very much up to the present.Your discussion of the importance of Sinxay as amplified in temple murals, gateway guardians and textiles (kudos on that one) is not only relevant, but somewhat groundbreaking. Few literature specialists exhibit the range of cultural interests and sensitivity which you and Bai have presented in SINXAY.I was glad that in the end you did mention the striking similarities with the Ramayana, which of course is well known in Java and Bali as well as throughout mainland Southeast Asia.Great work and beautiful production. Be sure to get in touch with the Association for Asian Studies Inc. book reviewers on this.