Cambodian Grrrl & New Girl Law

2012 SATW Foundation
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Book

“The best travel book I’ve read this year.”USA Today

Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh and its follow-up New Girl Law are accounts of teaching self-publishing to the first generation of university women in an impoverished country scarred by genocide and political repression. From Cantankerous Titles.

Reviews of Cambodian Grrrl

“[T]here is not an ounce of the self-righteous paternalism that often accompanies travelogues like this. … Moore is one of the sharpest thinkers and cultural critics bouncing around the globe today. In a few short paragraphs, she can explain the political significance of photocopying and distributing your thoughts far better than any scholarly work ever could. What she accomplishes in less than a hundred pages is stunning, as she deftly and intelligently weaves together women’s rights, globalization, democracy, corruption, genocide, ethics, and self-empowerment. Moore’s writing voice is humorous and compelling, especially as she never casts herself as an authority of anything, but honestly shares her own doubts and self-criticisms. But, most importantly, she uses this book to amplify the voices of the young women at the center of this project. Make no mistake, this book is DIY punk put into action.” —Razorcake

“Moving, hilarious, and unbelievable in the way that only true stories are.”Portland Mercury

“Moore’s unfeigned candor, along with an inventive, almost giddy narrative voice that becomes more and more like the voices of her teenage dorm mates, leaves scarce room for readers to indulge their cynicism. Moore hits the mark on just about every topic [revealing a] skill at distilling complicated ideas through a language barrier with a veteran artist’s acute irreverence … With its slender binding and intimate voice, Cambodian Grrrl … risks more, and reveals more, than plenty of those longer books that are practically branded as “serious literature” (you know the ones). Its emotional and intellectual honesty remind us what storytelling is for.”—Truthout

“Quite enjoyable … I would highly recommend Cambodian Grrrl.” –Gender Across Borders

“One of the most important books of the year.” —largeheartedboy

Cambodian Grrrl exposes — whether it was Moore’s intention or not — how corporate control of the media in the US is continuous with the logic of profitability which creates exploitative conditions in Cambodia [and] attains the modest yet important success of making personal narratives and experience matter to critiques of history and globalization.”Hyphen Magazine

“This book is neither about Cambodia nor self-publishing. Rather it is about love. … Somehow [the author] is able to discuss issues of democracy, freedom of speech, the global garment market, slave labor, rape, mass murder and a litany of other tough subjects and leave me smiling. That left me with hope that all we really do need is love.”—Viva La Feminista

“This book is totally amazing. . . . Travelogue, memoir, DIY love story, political history, compulsively readable. You’ll be smarter and doubly inspired when you’re done with this big little book.” —Michelle Tea, RADAR Productions

“A quirky, brisk, and piercingly honest recitation of one woman’s experience in a post-conflict society overseas.”—The Rumpus

Cambodian Grrrl is an account of teaching freedom of speech where it’s least wanted.”—Windy City Times

“Rating: 4.5/5. Recommended for: Anyone who has ever sat down with a pile of photocopied pages, a mixtape, a notebook or a pen and wanted to say something.”—For Books’ Sake

“I received your book, Cambodian Grrrl … and loved it! Read it in one day … too good to stop. It brought back memories of when I first arrived in Cambodia. Now I’m a local … and have decided to stay in Cambodia for good.”—Her Royal Highness Soma Norodom

“When Punk Planet, the zine that longtime zinester and activist Anne Elizabeth Moore had co-edited and published for three years, closed its doors in 2007, one could be forgiven for thinking that maybe she entered into at least a short period of mourning or depression. Not so. Moore decamped to Cambodia, starting a program where she mentored young women students in areas of creative expression and self-publishing. In a country like Cambodia, where the media is an arm of the government, this work is potentially revolutionary. … You get the sense that Moore feels slightly in awe of these women, most taking classes seven days a week (sometimes multiple degrees from multiple universities), and living in the first all-girls dorm in the country, and yet still they have seemingly boundless reserves of energy in learning about self-publishing and making zines. Zines! … 1000000000000000% punk rock.” —Jacksonville Public Library

Listen to Moore on ABC Radio Australia.

Read Moore’s interview on The Rumpus.

Here’s an interview with the Grand Rapids Rapidian.

Read Moore’s “Book Notes” on largeheartedboy.

An excerpt appears here at Chicago Publishes.

Read an interview about the book on Today’s Chicago Woman.

Listen to Moore talk about the project on The Matthew Filipowicz Show.

Watch this interview on GritTV with Laura Flanders.


Reviews of New Girl Law

“Post-empirical, proto-fourth-wave-feminist memoir-cum-academic abstract [that] makes our country’s Mommy Wars look like child’s play—and proves … why we should be paying attention to Cambodia’s record of human rights and gender equity.” —Bust Magazine

Voice of America’s Jim Stevenson talked to Moore about the book, in a short piece archived here.

Truthout’s Alissa Bohling conducted an in-depth interview with Moore.

New City published an interview with Moore on the book called, “There is no similar place.”

The Phnom Penh Post wrote a feature on New Girl Law titled “Girls rule in new draft of moral code.”

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