Crying from Remorse
(Crying from Remorse by Sor Sornose. Cambodia Rocks!)

So why follow the literary scene in Cambodia? Cool discoveries like these. The above image is by Hul Sophon, who has worked in illustration both before and after the years of war. In addition to his primary work on covers he does many other kinds of art, and had an adaptation of ‘Kolap Pailin’ published by Reyum. (Now sold out.)

These pre-revolutionary novel covers come from Angkor Thom bookshop. (1975 and before.) I believe this art was ‘work for hire’ so while these are perennial reprints, the artist probably hasn’t seen a dime in royalties. Most likely these novels were hidden during wartime, or brought back from overseas and then reprinted.

Betraying Husband for Money

Betraying Husband for Money
by Srey Bun Chantha
Novel cover by Hul Sophon
(Can you say ‘kitsch’? Yes you can.)

Preah Bat Bor Thum Rechea

Preah Bat Bor Thum Rechea
by Hak Chey Hong
Novel cover by Hul Sophon
(hmm… that flag looks like it’s from the Sangkum era, though this looks to be a historical novel.)

Raceny Koktlok

Raceny Koktlok
by Sang Hal
Novel cover by Hul Sophon


Flower of Love, Flame of Suffering
by Hak Chay Hok
Novel cover by Hul Sophon

(You’ve seen a handful of these covers in earlier posts, I thought it would be good to give you the full dose here.)


6 Responses to “Pulp Cambodia Novel Covers: Hul Sophon”

  1. manur says:

    This (and your coverage of Lire en Fête) is wonderful.
    Thank you Jinja !

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful covers, Jinja – thanks for featuring them!

  3. pinispinus says:

    Thanks for sharing these. I am interested in the copyright issue. First, I think it is difficult to prove whether these works were “works made for hire” since most of evidences have been disappeared after a long time of war. Second, the present Cambodian copyright law does not touch on this issue. There is one article talking about this issue, but it say nothing about how to apply it to works previously made before the 1979. Third, it is unclear if no employer was found whether these works become public domains. The law says that if no heir or no will, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts will be the administrator of these works, but when concerned authors claim their rights, the MCFA requires a strong evidence. How comes? Why not make them public? Or require only less weight of evidence?

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