"Recreates the experience of living in Thailand's aqueous climate so viscerally that you can feel the water rising around your ankles." —Ron Charles, Washington Post "Important, ambitious, and accomplished." —Mohsin Hamid, New York Times bestselling author of Exit West A missionary doctor pines for his native New England even as he succumbs to the vibrant chaos of nineteenth-century Siam. A post-World War II society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting her solitary fate. A jazz pianist in the age of rock, haunted by his own ghosts, is summoned to appease the house's resident spirits. In the present, a young woman tries to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in a New Krungthep yet to come, savvy teenagers row tourists past landmarks of the drowned old city they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these lives collide and converge, linked by the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibious, ever-morphing capital itself. Bangkok Wakes to Rain is an elegy for what time erases and a love song to all that persists, yearning, into the unknowable future.
"Recreates the experience of living in Thailand's aqueous climate so viscerally that you can feel the water rising around your ankles."--Ron Charles, Washington Post "Important, ambitious, and accomplished." --Mohsin Hamid, New York Times bestselling author of Exit West A missionary doctor pines for his native New England even as he succumbs to the vibrant chaos of nineteenth-century Siam. A post-World War II society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting her solitary fate. A jazz pianist in the age of rock, haunted by his own ghosts, is summoned to appease the house's resident spirits. In the present, a young woman tries to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in a New Krungthep yet to come, savvy teenagers row tourists past landmarks of the drowned old city they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these lives collide and converge, linked by the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibious, ever-morphing capital itself. Bangkok Wakes to Rain is an elegy for what time erases and a love song to all that persists, yearning, into the unknowable future.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 EDWARD STANFORD 'FICTION WITH A SENSE OF PLACE' AWARD Places remember us... 'An important, ambitious, and accomplished novel. Sudbanthad deftly sweeps us up in a tale that paints a twin portrait: of a megacity like those so many of us call home and of a world where sanctuary is increasingly hard to come by' Mohsin Hamid A missionary begs to be sent home. A jazz pianist is hired to perform for ghosts. An army colonel smells the food of home for the last time. A girl designs herself a new face. An old woman uploads her consciousness. Bangkok Wakes to Rain is an intricately plotted novel where characters and stories are linked by place, not time. As the novel builds to a futuristic crescendo, moments of intimacy serve to remind us that no matter what the ebb of time may change, we humans persevere. Praise for Bangkok Wakes to Rain: 'Compelling' Financial Times 'Breathtakingly lovely' Kirkus 'A sumptuous accomplishment' Esquire 'A simple, ingenious conceit' Alexander Chee 'Elegant and restrained' Wall Street Journal 'Saturated in the senses' Claire Vaye Watkins 'A swirling, always surprising storytelling structure' Guardian 'An original and quietly memorable reading experience' Washington Post 'Beautifully textured and rich with a sense of place' Karen Walker Thompson 'Reading this book feels like waking up to a singular and important new voice' Rajesh Parameswaran
The national bestseller by the award-winning Thai-American author. “A brilliant collection . . . brimming with sharp-clawed survival lessons” (Los Angeles Times). Set in contemporary Thailand, these are generous, radiant tales of family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts and cultural shiftings beneath the glossy surface of a warm, Edenic setting. Written with exceptional acuity, grace and sophistication, the stories present a nation far removed from its exoticized stereotypes. In the prize-winning opening story “Farangs,” the son of a beachside motel owner commits the cardinal sin of falling for a pretty American tourist. In the novella, “Cockfighter,” a young girl witnesses her proud father’s valiant but foolhardy battle against a local delinquent whose family has a vicious stranglehold on the villagers. Through his vivid assemblage of parents and children, natives and transients, ardent lovers and sworn enemies, Lapcharoensap dares us to look with new eyes at the circumstances that shape our views and the prejudices that form our blind spots. Gorgeous and lush, painful and candid, Sightseeing is an extraordinary reading experience, one that powerfully reveals that when it comes to how we respond to pain, anger, hurt, and love, no place is too far from home. “Lapcharoensap is a commanding, animated tour guide, and a lot more than that—he can write with the bait and the hook of genuine talent . . . [He] has a gift for the detail that catches not only his Thai milieu but teenage life everywhere.” —Darin Strauss, The New York Times Book Review
On the day Chareeya is born, her mother discovers her father having an affair with a traditional Thai dancer. From then on, Chareeya's life is fated to carry the weight of her parents' disappointments. She and her sister grow up in a lush riverside town near the Thai capital, Bangkok, captivated by trashy romance novels, classical music and games of make-believe. When the laconic orphan, Pran, enters their world, he unwittingly lures the sisters into a labyrinth of their own making as they each try to escape their intertwined fates. The original Thai language edition of The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinthwon the prestigious South East Asian Writers ("S.E.A. Write") Award for fiction and was a best-seller in Thailand. It is translated into English by Thai film critic and recipient of France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Kong Rithdee. Attuned to the addictive rhythms of a Thai soap opera and written with the consuming intensity of a fever dream, this novel opens an insightful and truly compelling window onto the Thai heart. "Mesmerising and unputdownable - a virtuoso translation of what must surely be one of the best Thai novels to make it into English." - Lawrence Osborne, author of Hunters in the Darkand Only to Sleep
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK * A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE * A tense, stunningly well-observed novel of a young American on the run, from Lawrence Osborne, "an heir to Graham Greene" (The New York Times Book Review) "Bangkok is the star of this accomplished novel. Its denizens are aliens to themselves, glittering on the horizon of their own lives, moving--restless and rootless and afraid--though a cityscape that has more stories than they know."--Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies Escaping New York for the anonymity of Bangkok, Sarah Mullins arrives in Thailand on the lam with nothing more than a suitcase of purloined money. Her plan is to lie low and map out her next move in a high-end apartment complex called the Kingdom, whose glass-fronted façade boasts views of the bustling city and glimpses into the vast honeycomb of lives within. It is not long before she meets the alluring Mali doing laps in the apartment pool, a fellow tenant determined to bring the quiet American out of her shell. An invitation to Mali's weekly poker nights follows, and--fueled by shots of yadong, good food, and gossip--Sarah soon falls in with the Kingdom's glamorous circle of ex-pat women. But as political chaos erupts on the streets below and attempted uprisings wrack the city, tensions tighten within the gilded compound. When the violence outside begins to invade the Kingdom in a series of strange disappearances, the residents are thrown into suspicion: both of the world beyond their windows and of one another. And under the constant surveillance of the building's watchful inhabitants, Sarah's safe haven begins to feel like a snare. From a master of atmosphere and mood, The Glass Kingdom is a brilliantly unsettling story of civil and psychological unrest, and an enthralling study of karma and human greed.
In the colorful tradition of Orwell and Hemingway, Maugham and Theroux, Jerry Hopkins recalls his first decade as a Bangkok expatriate by profiling twenty-five of the city's most unforgettable characters. Among them are the man thought to be the model for Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, an advertising executive who photographs Thai bargirls for Playboy, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who moved there to die, a Catholic priest who has lived and worked in the Bangkok slums for 35 years, a circus dwarf turned computer programmer turned restaurateur, three Vietnam war helicopter pilots who opened a go-go bar, a pianist at one of the world's best hotels who ended up on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, a gem dealer who smuggles antiquities from Burma and Cambodia, a detective who tracks runaways who fake their deaths, and a documentary filmmaker who lives with elephants. All of them "escaped" to Thailand to re-invent themselves and live out their fantasies in one of the world's most notorious cities.
A thriller with attitude to spare, Bangkok 8 is a sexy, razor-edged, often darkly hilarious novel set in one of the world’s most exotic cities. Witnessed by a throng of gaping spectators, a charismatic Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz. Among the witnesses are the only two cops in the city not on the take, but within moments one is murdered and his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep—a devout Buddhist and the son of a Thai bar girl and a long-gone Vietnam War G.I.—is hell-bent on wreaking revenge. On a vigilante mission to capture his partner’s murderer, Sonchai is begrudgingly paired with a beautiful FBI agent named Jones and captures her heart in the process. In a city fueled by illicit drugs and infinite corruption, prostitution and priceless art, Sonchai’s quest for vengeance takes him into a world much more sinister than he could have ever imagined.
When Crystal’s husband, Brian, suddenly announces that his company is sending him to manage its Bangkok office and that he expects her and their children to come along, she reluctantly acquiesces. She doesn’t want to leave the job she loves and everything familiar in their small Oklahoma town; it’s 1975, however, and Crystal, a woman with traditional values, feels she has to be a good wife and follow her husband. Crystal finds beauty in Thailand, but also isolation and betrayal. Fighting intense loneliness and buffeted by a series frightening and shocking events, she struggles to adapt to a very different culture and battle a severe depression—and, ultimately, decide whether her broken relationship with her husband is worth saving.
From a MacArthur "Genius," a bold new perspective on the history of Asia, highlighting the long quest to tame its waters Asia's history has been shaped by her waters. In Unruly Waters, historian Sunil Amrith reimagines Asia's history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, and seas--and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers and farmers who have sought to control them. Looking out from India, he shows how dreams and fears of water shaped visions of political independence and economic development, provoked efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, and unleashed powerful tensions within and between nations. Today, Asian nations are racing to construct hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, with dire environmental impacts; hundreds of millions crowd into coastal cities threatened by cyclones and storm surges. In an age of climate change, Unruly Waters is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Asia's past and its future.
"That night, the rain poured and wind howled, raindrops crashing like solid objects onto the ground and water. A passenger boat from Ban Phaen to Bangkok, packed with people, pressed on through the current amidst the rising clamor of the rain and storm. . . ." The boat capsizes in the torrent, and washed up on the shore the next morning are the sodden bodies of the many passengers who lost their lives. Thus begins M. R. Kukrit Pramoj's classic novel set in the Thailand of the early 1950s and first published in 1954. The life of each passenger who perished is retraced from birth, revealing a complex web of experiences and emotions. M. R. Kukrit Pramoj (1911Ð1995) wasa writer of renown, politician, prime minister, intellectual, journalist, and classical dancer. He wrote more than 20 books, including the historical novel Four Reigns.