Monday, April 2, 2012

Why "Monsoon Country"?

As I've stated in previous posts, it has been difficult to find novels from South East Asia from South East Asian writers that have been translated into English. Most of the available novels seem to be frolicking-in-Pattaya dreck with a shalow background in an exotic land. I thought about reading "Four Reigns" by Kukrit Pramo, but as almost 700 pages it seemed a bit long; my Japanese novel is also a very lengthy work that deals with court life over a span of decades. There also seemed to be some complaints about the translation. I wanted a quiet novel,  one with very little turmoil, and when I saw Monsoon Country by Pira Sudham it seemed to fit the bill. In addition to northeastern Thailand, it's also set in France and Germany, two countries that I know well, so I'm looking forward to reading a low-key, contemplative book .

Pira Sudham was born to an illiterate peasant family in a remote area of north east Thailand. He spent twenty years studying and teaching in the UK and the Antipodes before returning to his home region to write and to help develop the Esarn area through his charitable foundation. He writes his novels exclusively in English in order to reach a wider Western Audience. Unlike the authors of five of the last six books I have read (and with at least two more to follow), he has not been a victim of political repression. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature after writing"Monsoon Country"

This was supposed to post before I read the book, but the software for this site didn't cooperate. So now, here's the pre-view added post-review.

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