Harriette Four Faces of Truth
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Bayon Monument
Photo by Barry Broman, from
his book Cambodia:
its Land and its People

Reviews for “Four Faces of Truth”

Why this book
Why this title
  David Chandler, Monash University, Australia. Author of A History of Cambodia and Brother Number One: A Political Biography of Pol Pot.
Author's Bio  
Back Cover

            Four Faces of Truth is a poignant, fictionalized account of Cambodia’s tumultuous history since World War II as seen through the eyes of four skillfully imagined participant observers. In these pages, Ms Rinaldi displays an enviable “feel" for the ways Cambodians think and behave and a talent for capturing the essence of what millions of Cambodians have recently endured. In Four Faces of Truth she has constructed a darkly tinted, multi-faceted narrative that is very moving and very persuasive.


Ambassador Tim Carney, Director of UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, Director for Asian Affairs on National Security Staff, author of Whither Cambodia? Beyond the Election            Harriette Rinaldi has written a magic novel of modern Cambodian history. Like all good historical fiction, it uses the facts together with the vicissitudes of her very well-drawn characters to portray the horrors of Khmer Rouge Cambodia. She vividly depicts the roots of Cambodian communism in the personalities of the major figures. This book wonderfully rebuts the nonsense of “gentle” Cambodians. It makes plain how and why the Khmer Rouge regime happened.

Judy Ledgerwood, Director for Southeast Asian Studies and Professor, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University
          Harriette Rinaldi uses fiction to bring 1970s Cambodia alive, exploring through the use of four compelling narrators, just how the murderous Khmer Rouge regime took hold in that country. This book keenly tracks the trajectory of Cambodia as it slides into the abyss of war and genocide. The interplay of four distinct voices, along with Rinaldi’s first-hand knowledge of Cambodia, gives the story its depth. While each narrator’s story is unique, all are woven together flawlessly. Rinaldi takes us right into the maelstrom of the revolution led by Pol Pot, whose wife continues to slip into the paranoid schizophrenia that would consume her. Cambodia itself is present like another character, alive with amazingly diverse natural resources and unique architectural treasures.


Youk Chhang, Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, the major human rights organization in Cambodia        I grew up during the Cambodian war (1970-1975) and I still continue to be haunted in some way by my experiences under the Khmer Rouge. Four Faces of Truth is an important contribution to the discussion concerning what if and, consequently, what now? For example, what if there had been no war or genocide in Cambodia? As Harriette Rinaldi’s book demonstrates, Cambodia’s prospects for a better future will depend not only on how it faces its difficulties today, but also on how it faces the horrors of the past.


Providence Journal Review of Four Faces of Truth



Copyright 2013 - 2014, All rights reserved. Revised: September 2014.