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The Map of Lost Memories holds a special place in my heart. When I was a child, my grandfather lived with my family, and at night he would sit on the side of my bed and tell me stories about his life as a sailor in Asia in the 1930s. Together we would pore over his photos, most of which were of Shanghai and showed an exotic world of rickshaws and sampans against a backdrop of majestic European buildings.
As I grew up, my fascination with Asia simmered within me until I graduated from college and made my first trip. I was smitten by the sodden heat, the smell of incense and jasmine down hidden lanes, and the magical combination of foreignness and familiarity. I continued to return to that part of the world until finally I moved to Vietnam. It was there that I read about Andre and Clara Malraux, a French couple who looted a Cambodian temple in the 1920s to raise money for the Communist party. With that, the first glimmer of my novel appeared.
In the following years, surrounded by the remnants of French colonialism, I could not stop thinking about the Westerners who came to Asia to claim a piece of it for themselves. I began to research every bit of information available on the history of illicit art collecting at the beginning of the twentieth century. I traveled to Shanghai to trace the stories my grandfather once told me. And I went to Angkor Wat. I had read so much about this temple and thought about it for such a long time, and still its grandeur stunned me.
Shaped by all of these experiences and my great passion for Asia, The Map of Lost Memories is both an adventure novel and a time capsule.
One of my gramps' photos of Shanghai that inspired The Map of Lost Memories
An abandoned Khmer temple in the jungles of Cambodia in the 1920s
A deserted hallway in Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple in the 1920s
I really liked this book. Set in 1925, I found the language and descriptions beautiful, the characters interesting but not one-sided, and the plot fascinating. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Carole I. Sojka
If you love historical fiction that is captivating and different, you'll love this book. You'll care about the characters, and want to be back in 1920 Cambodia to share the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sharon A
A wonderful literary adventure that takes the reader back to a vivid, 1920s China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Erin Fanning
An exotic, layered read that truly captures the allure and mysteries of the ancient Khmer civilization. Read morePublished 8 months ago by kenneth zak
Not knowing much about the places on which the story took place, I became fascinated by the intertwining of cultures.Published 9 months ago by teach220
I am now fascinated by the Khmer people - this book is a wonderful story of discovery into Cambodian culture.Published 10 months ago by Liz Salem
This book was terrific. There was mystery & suspense and the action all came alive After reading it I went on the writer's (Kim Fay) website to tell her how much I enjoyed reading... Read morePublished 10 months ago by marilyn shaw
Any book that sends me to the computer to find out more about a place and time period, is a winner for me. And The Map of Lost Memories did just that. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Book Diva