Noble Wimon is twenty-one, beautiful, rich, independent-minded and a little conceited, but loved by all and living a charmed life.
When disaster strikes, she must take care of her numerous siblings almost single-handedly. Will she prove to be up to it as a person of quality endowed with moral rectitude?
This 1937 novel of manners is foremost in the Thai literary canon .
Sex, guilt and retribution. Apparently inspired by the goings-on at a neighbouring palace during the author's childhood, this 1965 novel is set in the expansive residence of a retired nobleman whose carnal excesses set the tone for the whole community. The story focuses on the sexual rivalry between His Lordship and his despised son, Jan Darra, who turns out not to be his son at all and who, in time, will reap revenge over his tormentor. Erotic pleasures described in hyperbolic, neoclassical fashion are merely a pretext to create in intricate detail a self-contained microcosm ruled by lust if not passion and by scheming self-interest.
With its skilful construction, psychological insights, lush prose and steamy yet inoffensive sex scenes, not to mention its overly Buddhist moral stance, this is an exceptional novel with few equivalents in the world of literature.
This gem of a novel, written during the Second World War, is an amazingly realistic tale of sacrifice in the name of love, at once humorous and tragic: a must-read for both teenagers and grown-ups
This epoch-making novel, set in the rural central Thailand of the 1980s, is a scathing satire and chilling endictment of modern society, which makes heroes of 'fuckin' cheats' and condemns upright citizens out of sheer hypocrisy.
It earned its author his first SEA Write Award in 1982.
Twelve years later, his second award, for Time, confirmed Chart Korbjitti as the most outstanding novelist of his generation
Thai hippiedom in its 1980s heyday. First serialised in a women's magazine, yet another masterpiece by the author of 1982 SEA Write Award winning The Judgment and 1994 SEA Write Award winning Time.
This national bestseller, emblematic of the 1970s student generation, explores the generation gap between parents and children in a Bangkok middle-class family, the pains of growing up and tug-of-war between friendship and love in teenage hearts.
The world of feelings and frustrations it sketches in a swift patchwork of flashbacks, impressionistic and particularly vivid and true to life, is familiar to adolescents the world over.
Little people, simple lives, modest dreams, traditional beliefs, petty fights, tragic accidents, and the dictates of the authorities: how fishermen alienate themselves from nature and lose their moorings is told in a patchwork, poetic narrative of rare beauty. A 1980s masterpiece to defy time and tide.
Deep into the jungle, a young would-be hunter goes after a barking deer until he is stalked by a tiger - and, through the confrontation, finds himself.
This powerful novella, written in the late 1980s after years spent in the jungles of Thailand fighting the government of the day, can be read at many levels - adventure story, Buddhist tale, assessment of failed political struggle or psychological search for wisdom.
The author, born in 1952 in southern Thailand won the SEA Write Award in 1993 for a collection of short stories.
A crippled boy plays with his puppets and dreams of glory until the female cobra he disturbs by his show rushes at him.
The life-and-death struggle that follows has but a predictable end - or has it?
This tale has been translated into seven European languages, not to mention Braille, has been turned into a play in Paris, and has brought immediate recognition to its author, Saneh Sangsuk, born 1957, as a `great contemporary writer´.
Everything you need to know about Thai literature, from its origins to Thai fiction today.
Literary criteria used in the selection of the 20 best novels of the last century, from The circus of life to The white shadow:
Plots - excerpts - critical assessment.
Biographies of their 18 authors, from Arkartdamkeung Rapheephat to Saneh Sangsuk.
Monks, murder, money, miracles and mystifications. Snakes galore and sleazy slitherings intertwined with scandal, suicide and rape in the central Thai village of Khoak Phranang - the first of a celebrated quartet of novels [see The Medium, Khoak Phranang and Lord of the Land under the ThaiFiction imprint].
Central to the story are Yeesun, murderer, boxer, snake catcher and a good man - and Abbot Nian (Father Smoothy), who beheads Buddha statues, kills a monk and beds another for the greater glory of his temple.
A tale told at breakneck speed with bite and sardonic humour. A daring novel written in 1984 denouncing the betrayal of Buddhism in the age of rampant consumerism
Paris after the Second World War: the Left Bank, Montmartre and Picasso's dove. Wanlaya is a Thai music student with challenging ideas and challenged friends, all engaged in their own ways in a search for the true values of life.
The meaning of art, the birth of music, the evil of elitist education, the value of work, women's liberation: this swinging, iconoclastic novel of ideas, published in the early 1950s but only read twenty years later, has inspired Thai progressive circles ever since, and remains a hymn to life clamouring for change and ringing with the hopes and generosity of youth.
By the author of Ghosts (TMC 16)
Sai Seema, a lawyer from the paddy fields, has his work cut out for him helping his farming relatives and convincing his lover's aristocratic parents that he deserves her hand. This prophetic, 1953 novel about the ghosts of time and rising radicalism in Thai society is widely considered as a masterpiece of art-for-life literature in twentieth-century Thailand.
The disaffected son of a Thai aristocrat goes to study law in London in the early 1920s, only to fall in love with an English journalist and become a reporter. In England, France, the US, Japan and China, their work and his fear of poverty and cultural incompatibility conspire to keep them apart and their love unfulfilled.
When his eyesight fails him, he returns to Siam broke and broken-hearted.
The Circus of Life is the first important Thai novel, providing unusual glimpses of the western world and Asia between the wars. Written by a young prince adroitly mixing fact and fiction, it created a storm when it was published in 1929 (the author killed himself three years later at the age of 26). Thanks to its classic craftsmanship, fast pace, lively tone and themes of alienation, absurdity and injustice in life, this pioneering work of fiction remains astonishingly modern.
One way out of crippling poverty is by putting yourself at the service of the spirits of the land - folk credulity will do the rest.
Thus is born the Medium, pitting himself against unethical Buddhist monks who also exploit the spiritual needs of Thai villagers. This is the second part of Wimon Sainimnuan's celebrated Khoak Phranang Quartet.
What happens to common country folk when they are caught in the jaws of wayward religion and superstition?
This is what happens, at Khoak Phranang, the epicentre of rural Thailand in the 1990s.
A short, droll and dispiriting interlude before the final confrontation between the masters of spiritual spin.
Read it in Lord of the Land, the keystone of the Khoak Phranang Quartet.
Against a background of frenzied land speculation where all sorts of dirty tricks are par for the course, who of Abbot Nian and Kharm the Medium will emerge as the Lord of the Land?
The increasingly heated competition between the main protagonists of Snakes and The Medium offers a disturbing insight into the pains of the Thai countryside in the 1990s.
By the winner of the Year 2000 SEA Write Award for his novel on cloning, Immortal.
An ageing tycoon wants to achieve immortality by grafting his brain onto a younger body - until he is challenged by his very clone. At stake, there is more than the control of his business empire.
A Thai novel on cloning, from a Buddhism-inspired perspective - winner of the Year 2000 SEA Write Award.
When some men are cursed with immortality, they endeavour to break the curse and, if successful, turn into sea animals.
A novel of magical realism and verbal magic set on the fault line of Islam and Buddhism in Southern Thailand
Soldier, pimp or artist? What is Rart´s real nature? Is history repeating itself?
By the most inventive and versatile of Thai short story writers, a tale of social upheavals and human ambiguities that can be read at many levels.
This vivid chronicle of an upcountry district in the heart of Siam is told through the rise of Ruen, an aspiring timber trader who leads a small community of farmers in its fight against nature and against man at the turn of the last century (1890-1909). Epidemics, fires, floods, famine and banditry forge a common will to survive and prosper despite all odds. Children are born and die. Families flee and return. Under the lure of money, simple men break their words, until they know better. Freedom and friendship are the guiding principles in Ruen's fighting world. He marries Sutjai, beds her best friend Jampa, and worships Lamiat, the wife of his worst enemy. This epic social fresco and ode to human endeavour and wilfulness, written in lush, swift prose, will take you through a wide sweep of emotions.
L'amant ~ La poupée ~ Poumrak Pansing connaît la musique ~ Un prêté pour un rendu (une autre aventure de Poumrak Pansing) : Quatre aperçus du talent singulier du plus versatile des nouvellistes thaïlandais contemporains, entre recherche formelle et formules commerciales rodées