In the early 20th century, Thai translations of Western bestsellers began appearing. Before being published in books, these stories were first serialized in magazines and newspapers. Most were romantic novels with a rich boy/poor girl theme, and typically ended with improbable coincidences. Today, however, there are a wide range of genres and subgenres of fiction in Thai. This is a brief overview of some of the more well-known works of fiction in Thai.
The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth is a popular novel, set during the 1970s protests in Thailand. This novel contains mythical imagery that will enchant readers, while also introducing them to contemporary Thailand’s culture and ancient customs. Another bestseller is Sightseeing, which is set in a modern Thailand and has a romantic relationship between two Chinese immigrants. Both books will leave readers with a sense of wonder and will likely make them think about life in Thailand.
Siburapha’s Behind the Painting has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. It has been adapted twice to the screen. Set in Japan and partly Thailand, this novel is about a doomed love affair between a young Thai student and an older aristocrat. P. Mu’angchomphu suggested that the characters represent the extinction of old aristocracy by the comprador capitalist class.
Despite similarities in the form of the film, the filmmaking style is distinctively Thai. While Hollywood science fiction films use strong goals and a strong antagonist, Thai film makers often change the antagonist’s will and plan to resolve the conflict. While Hollywood film makers focus on a strong goal, the protagonist can change this goal and still win the day. For this reason, Thai films are a great choice for those looking for a story with a deep emotional connection.
The short fiction aisle at bookshops in Bangkok is one of the most interesting parts of the shelves. Many Thai writers first publish their stories in magazines before gathering them into collections. These stories are more powerful than novels and are often quicker to catch the zeitgeist. In recent years, experimental short fiction about the city’s everyday life has started to hit the shelves, including works by Prabda Yoon, Uthis Haemamool, and Win Lyovarin.
Other examples of fiction in Thailand are the Ramakien epic, lost in the Ayutthaya ruins in 1767. In three versions, it was written by King Rama I, and then later rewritten by Rama II for khon drama. In this epic, Hanuman plays a major role and ends happily. Interestingly, many Thai poems are based on mythical stories from other cultures, including the famous Anirut Kham Chan, a story of prince Anirudha.
While The Matrix uses Buddhism as a theme, Kawao tee Bangpleng explicitly introduces Buddhism and does not discuss technology. The film is about a group of aliens who cannot live in harmony with humans. While Hollywood films tend to be tolerant and try to show both sides of an issue, Thai science fiction is explicitly judgmental. You may be a fan of both genres, but the latter is more interesting than the former.
While fiction in Thailand is rarely as well-written as the classics, some writers are attempting to capture the country’s unique culture and history through their works. Fiction in Thailand varies widely in style, and there are numerous popular titles. Fiction books set in Thailand can be particularly interesting. In many cases, these books can educate and inspire a reader to visit Thailand. It is important to choose a book that offers the kind of insight and depth that you’re seeking.
Thai fiction authors often share a lot of similarities and differences with their American counterparts. In many ways, Thai science fiction films and Hollywood science fiction movies are similar, though the latter are primarily concerned with the genre of fantasy and horror. Despite their similarities and differences, many Thai science fiction films fail to break into the mainstream. The challenge that many Thai small publishers face is a lack of marketing. The new literary standards are aimed at helping these small publishers and provide them with the necessary resources to compete with the giants.
For readers looking for a more intense adventure, this novel isn’t for you. However, if you like escapism, this novel will make you want to visit Thailand. While the characters in this novel aren’t particularly well-developed, the story is compelling nonetheless. A bumbling American named Sarah does not get a chance to develop as a sympathetic character in this story. However, her friendship with the author makes up for this flaw.