New Releases

Orchid Press Publishing has a wide collection of well illustrated books, appealing to both the layman and the scholar, and written by specialists. New releases are available in the libraries below.

Individual Titles   Central Asian Studies
Bibliotheca Asiatica Bibliotheca Himalayica Asian Portraits


[Buy a French edition as e-book or printed version]
Following The Buddha’s Footprints
by Jacques de Guerny

Bangkok, 2014, 25 x 18 cm., 215 pp., 131 col. plates, 9 maps, bibliography, index, hardbound.

ISBN 978-974-524-163-3 $35.00
E-book edition $19.99

The Buddhapada is one of the most enigmatic artistic developments that has derived from the Buddhist faith. Literally ‘foot (or feet) of the Buddha’, its most common manifestation is that of a footprint, rendered in three dimensions in stone or metal, or less commonly on cloth or paper. Often replete with complex symbolism, they serve both as a tool of instruction on the underlying concepts of Buddhism, and as a timeless reminder to the faithful of the Buddha’s presence and power.
   The author traces the evolution of this pinnacle of early Buddhist art from its origins in north India over two millennia ago, through its long migration in time and space, to its present prominence throughout Buddhist Asia. Documenting many fine examples along the way, the author completes this first pan-Asian survey of the Buddhapada with fascinating anecdotes of the monks, pilgrims and laymen encountered in his odyssey.


The Shapes and Sounds of the Lao Language:
For Native English Speakers
by David Dale
2014, 152 pp., includes CD ROM, 21.5 x 14 cm., softcover.

ISBN-13: 978-974-524-151-0 $25.00

“I wanted to say, This is my friend, but I accidentally said, This is my pig!
   Mastering a language as different to English as is Lao may first seem to be impossible… with its strange-looking script and its multitude of tones and vowels, the task can be decidedly intimidating.
   Compounding the problems, many native Lao language teachers don’t fully understand how to effectively explain these aspects of their language to the expatriate. Language learning materials dealing with Lao phonetics and orthography are sparse and incomprehensive. Yet, many native English speakers are successfully learning to speak fluent Lao and one of the tools in their arsenal is this very book. In these pages you will discover a path to make sense of it all, coming from someone who was once in your shoes.
   Rather than a linguistic treatise, The Shapes and Sounds of the Lao Language is a practical guide to help you to become fluent in Lao.  Using a combination of relevant descriptions, language learning tricks, flash cards, drills and comparison tracks on the enclosed audio CD, you will be able to conquer some of the most difficult aspects of the language.
     Certainly, learning a second language takes hard work and patience, but by following the instructions outlined in this book, you will get the most out of your efforts and will be delighted at the progress you never believed you could make.
Sierra Leone:
Inside the War: History and Narratives
by James Higbie and Bernard S. Moigula
2017, x, 310 pp., 110 b & w photos, 9 maps, 24 x 17 cm., softcover.

ISBN-13: 978-974-524-198-5 $22.95
E-book edition $5.99

In 1991 a brutal civil war broke out in Sierra Leone, a small country on the west coast of Africa. Masterminded by Muammar Qaddafi of Libya and Charles Taylor of Liberia, the war engulfed the poverty and corruption-ridden country for ten years. Notorious for “blood diamonds” and amputations, the war saw child soldiers murdering and mutilating civilians, and young people abducted to be fighters and sex slaves.
   Sierra Leone: Inside the War includes a detailed history of the civil war and narratives from over thirty Sierra Leoneans who witnessed or took part in the fighting, including child soldiers. Through the historical facts and the narrators’ words, readers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the politics of the war, the motivations of the fi ghters, and the feelings and thoughts of people caught up in the tragic violence that swept through the country.
What Do You Pack? If You’re Never Coming Back…
15 True Stories of Those Who Left Their Past Behind
compiled by Roberto Di Marco
2014, 268 pp., 21.6 x 14 cm., softcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-152-7 $25.00

We have all heard stories about these sorts of people—those who leave the comfort and security of their home, of the family, friends and language that they had known from childhood—and strike out into the unknown, half way around the world, never to return.
   What do they experience, those who transplant themselves into a culture totally alien to them? How do they adapt? Do they ever adapt? What are their motives to take such a leap?
   Many will assume that they are running from something—a wife, boredom, responsibilities, the law, or perhaps just from themselves. Are they cowards and loners, or brave adventurers?
   Within these 15 true life stories the reader will encounter some strange tales and some unusual characters. Some have ended up in paradise and some in hell—but regardless of the destination, their stories are endlessly fascinating and at times truly enlightening. They are a rich mix of adventure, information and yes, even practical advice for those who are considering just such a change.

[Read a review from the South China Morning Post] [Read a review from the Jakarta Globe] [Read a review from the Phuket Mail] [Read a review from the Pattaya Mail]
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The Wind in the Bamboo:
A Journey in Search of Asia’s “Negrito” Indigenous People
by Edith Mirante
2014, 23 x 15 cm., 308 pp., 45 col. & 11 monochrome photos, 4 maps, glossary, bibliography, index, softcover.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-147-3 $30.00

Historically defined as “Negrito” because they physically resemble small Africans, these forest peoples may have the most ancient ancestry in Asia. Captured for slavery, exhibited at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, nearly exterminated by disease and a cataclysmic volcano, they survive in a few places: Malaysia, the Philippines and India’s remote Andaman Islands. Some are armed with spears and blowpipes, a few with cellphones and graduate degrees. Edith Mirante, author of Burmese Looking Glass and Down the Rat Hole, weaves a compelling Chatwinesque narrative examining race and identity and the environmental, social, political challenges these indigenous peoples face in contemporary Asia.

   Edith Mirante takes the reader on a great pan-Asian adventure. This is a timely and vital journey among ancient people struggling to survive in the modern world.
Emma Larkin, author of Finding George Orwell in Burma.

[Read a review from the The Irrawaddy Magazine]



Caste and Kinship in a Modern Hindu Society:
The Newar City of Lalitpur, Nepal
by Mark Pickett
2014, 384 pp., 25 b & w images, 16 maps, 23 x 15 cm., softcover.

ISBN-13: 978-974-524-136-7 $35.00

[Bibliotheca Himalayica Series III Vol. 18]

This study comprises an in-depth examination of the anthropology of caste as observed in the Newar communities of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, and, by extension, within Hindu society more generally.
   Anthropologists have traditionally held that the phenomenon of caste in South Asia is the expression of a hierarchical system, ranking members in society on the basis of one or more characteristics, such as occupation, power or relative ritual purity.
   The present study argues that caste—and thus civic order—in Newar society derives from the antagonistic relationship between the forces of family lineage and the historic centrality of royal authority, the latter maintained to the present in annual festivals and by the use of urban space.
   In his study of four groups of artisans in the City of Lalitpur—collectively the Pengu Dah—Pickett demonstrates how this creative tension between kinship and kingship results in the institution of caste.
   An important contribution for academic and lay readers with interest in Hindu social structures and South Asian culture.


An Introduction to Classical Tibetan
by Stephen Hodge
2015 Revised 1st edition, 212 pp., 24.5 x 17.5 cm., softcover.
ISBN-10: 974-524-039-7 $26.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-039-1

Classical Tibetan, with origins dating to the seventh century, is the language found in a huge corpus of surviving Tibetan, mostly Buddhist, texts; native Tibetans still employ this language, today, when writing on religious, medical or historical subjects.
    This book aims to provide a rapid introduction to the main elements of Classical Tibetan, so that students may begin to access for themselves the vast amount of available material. While designed for guided study, the book will also be of use to those who tackle the language on their own. Steady study over approximately six months should result in an understanding of most grammatical features and allow the student to read the simpler prose texts.


Forty Delicious Years 1974-2014
Murni’s Warung, Ubud, Bali
compiled by Jonathan Copeland, Rob Goodfellow & Peter O’Neill
2014, 152 pp., 43 b & w photos, 21 x 14.5 cm, softbound.
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-181-7 $12.95

Forty Delicious Years is the story of Bali’s most enduring culinary landmark – Murni’s Warung in Ubud. Narrated by some of the Warung’s most intriguing patrons, with a Preface by Murni herself, the book tells the story of how a humble roadside stall became an institution – in fact a ‘must visit’, on a magical ‘must visit’ island.
   This easy to read and immensely enjoyable collection of vignettes has been published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Murni’s Warung in February 2014.

“It’s an institution. It’s a favourite; and a hive of memories and friendships. It’s Murni’s Warung.” Jero Asri Kerthyasa

“It’s not just food and a good time that you get at Murni’s Warung, but a complete sensual experience.” Professor Michael Hitchcock

“Murni’s Warung… the best clubhouse in the Universe.” Karen Goodman

“Murni is and always will be one of my favourite mothers in town.” Janet de Neefe

“For forty delicious years Murni’s Warung has been somewhere to relish life, excellent service, good food, and the company of friends.” José in den Kleef

[Read a review of from The Jakarta Globe]
The Lion and the Peacock
by Randolph O’Hara
2014, 94 pp. 22 x 14 cm., softcover.

ISBN-13: 978-974-524-180-0 $12.95

The 19th century was one of the most tumultuous in recent Burmese history, encompassing as it did three brutal wars between British and Burmese forces. The outcome of these conflicts, as well as of a series of bloody internal rebellions and murderous court intrigues, was the humiliating annexation first of the southern part of the country, followed eventually by the subjugation of the entire Burmese kingdom by the colonial government of British India.
   O’Hara skillfully reveals these turbulent events through the shifting fortunes of Sai Win’s family, as well as by the relationship of two long-time friends, Sai Win, a Burmese and Speirs, an Englishman, both honourable men. Along the way the author provides fascinating glimpses of the rhythms and minutae of Burmese traditional life.
   This warm and approachable tale comprises the second part of a trilogy on British Burma. Both this volume and the complete trilogy are recommended reading for young and old alike who have interest in learning of Burmese history and traditional culture.