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Mémoire du Laos
Memories of Laos
Geneviève Couteau
A subtle portrait of a magical, timeless Laos.
300 pages, 17x24 cm + 24 pages color booklet
ISBN: 978-2919-12274-5
29 €  34,90 $  1190 THB
In the heart of Southeast Asia, Laos, the former Kingdom of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol, renowned for its art of living and the gentleness of its people, is now reborn after a long period of turmoil and isolation.
Geneviève Couteau arrived in Laos in 1968 at the request of Prince Souvanna Phouma, in order to express its "appearance and mystery". At the time, most towns were isolated by war, but traditional rites were still alive. The author visited Vientiane, Luang-Prabang, Vang Vieng and Khong in southern Laos. She took part in bacis, weddings and cremations, and asked bonzes about Laotian Buddhism. She met literati and poets, village chiefs and warlords, as well as an old princess who had become a bonzesse.
During her second long stay, in 1972, in the southern province, she lived with Prince Boun Om, brother of the kingdom's third-ranking official, in the last days of a still feudal world.
In this well-documented, alert travelogue, teeming with anecdotes, encounters and notations, as are those of the 19th century, the author also delivers a spiritual itinerary. "We don't come back from Asia the same way," she says.
This new edition, enriched with sketches, drawings and portraits taken on the spot, brings back to life the Laos that many discovered as paradise on earth, despite the tragedies it went through.

With a foreword by Yves Cosson.

Inside, a 24-page full-color booklet featuring the most representative drawings from the author's Laotian sojourns.
Paris-born painter, draughtswoman and engraver Geneviève Couteau has had over sixty solo exhibitions in Europe, Asia and New York. Her pictorial work is almost always based on an in-depth study of the rites and customs of the countries she visits, accumulating notes, studies and portraits. "She is an acute draughtsman and an incantatory painter", says Pierre de Boisdeffre of her. In this book, she reveals herself as a writer.
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