SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

Song for an Approaching Storm: Cambodia as a Projection Surface For Suggestive Stories

Peter Idling

Date: 13 March 2014Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 13 March 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar


Set in a meticulously researched 1950s Cambodia, Song for an Approaching Storm is a novel
inspired by a real-life anecdote shared among close confidantes of dictator Pol Pot....the story goes that his radicalisation came about partly as a result of a broken heart....
Intrigued by this rumour, which apparently came from Pol Pot's former mentor, Keng Vannsak, Peter Idling set about researching the history of this startling claim. The result was this outstanding novel.

Cambodia: 1955

The first democratic elections are just around the corner. Sar is campaigning for the opposition while secretly working for a Communist takeover. Many years later, he will be known as Pol Pot. But for now, Sar is thinking about his fiancee, beauty queen Somaly. The outcome of the election will determine whether they have a future together. With his personal and political life at stake, Sar has everything to lose when his political rival Sam Sary also notices Somaly. In this sweltering summer heat, a love triangle unfolds against the backdrop of political power games.

Author's Biography

Peter Fröberg Idling, born in 1972, is a writer and journalist. He trained as a human rights lawyer, and has worked as a legal advisor to aid organisations in Cambodia. His first book, Pol Pot’s Smile (2006) was critically acclaimed as a work of literary non-fiction and translated into eight languages.

Book Signing

Peter Fröberg Idling's book will be available for purchase and he will be signing novels at this event. 

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4892/3