Thai Novels and Thai Fiction

 

Monsoon Country  by Pira Sudham (Paperback - April 1990)

Book Description
Set in Thailand, England and Germany, Monsoon Country conveys the cultural tension between the East and the West, the clashes between the new powers and the old values, covering twenty-five years of socio-economic and political change in Thailand. This novel gives, as no fiction account about Thailand has yet done, insights into Thai life, particularly that of rural Thailand. Foreign writers writing about the Thai people look at Thailand from the - outside", but Pira Sudham writes about his.

About the Author
Pira Sudham was born in a small remote village in northeast Thailand. He spent his early years in the rice fields helping his parents and tending a herd of water buffaloes. At teh age of 14, Sudham came to Bangkok where he completed high school and later university, then won a scholarship to a New Zealand university.
Having lived in Hong Kong, Australia and England, he now resides in Thailand, dividing his time between a working life in Bangkok and a village life in a district of Napo, where he...

a novel poet, July 30, 2000
Reviewer: Ben Haines from Bloomington, Illinois USA
This novel is an achievement not often equalled in this climate of moving yet empty 'culture' pieces. Passages of remarkable yet stark beauty capture the degree to which we are bound by our circumstances, to which the meaning of our lives and acts is constrained by the environment in which they exist. And the book captures the difficulty in leaving that environment, in un- and redefining those things which exist at the deepest level of personhood and whose dissolution becomes an act of destruction or self-sacrifice. The doubt over whether this violent act is necessary, or wise, defines the personal journey of Prem, a young Siamese exile, as he must confront his own past as well as his nation's to define his own place in a world where West and East meet uneasily at best. It is an intensely personal journey as well; Pira Sudham is a poet, and as poets do writes from a well of inspiration drawn from his own experiences and observations. Surely the story of Prem echoes Sudham's own journey from the villages of Thailand to a respectable literary life - a joureny that involved, as Prem's does, the creation of "a mechanism to turn bitterness into wisdom" and to "transform childhood memories into poetry". The book works also as a history of sorts, narrating the difficult journey of Thailand as a nation in transition and capturing in the deeply felt experiences of a few fictional individuals the nature of a land brought so unevenly into the 'modern' world.

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