Letters from Thailand

Letters from Thailand : A Novel

4.1 (194 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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When the original Thai version of Letters from Thailand appeared in Bangkok in 1969, it was promptly awarded the SEATO Prize for Thai Literature. This new English translation reveals it as one of Thailand's most entertaining and enduring modern novels, and one of the few portrayals of the immigrant Chinese experience in urban Thailand.Letters from Thailand is the story of Tan Suang U, a young man who leaves China to make his fortune in Thailand at the close of World War II, and ends up marrying, raising a family, and operating a successful business. The novel unfolds through his letters to his beloved mother in China.In Tan Suang U's lively account of his daily life in Bangkok's bustling Chinatown, larger and deeper themes emerge: his determination to succeed at business in this strange new culture; his hopes for his family; his resentment at how easily his children embrace urban Thai culture at the expense of the Chinese heritage which he holds dear; his inability to understand or adopt Thai ways; and his growing alienation from a society that is changing too fast for him.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 412 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 25.4mm | 249.47g
  • Silkworm Books / Trasvin Publications LP
  • Silkworm Books
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 9747551675
  • 9789747551679
  • 333,216

About Botan

Botan (pseud. Supa Sirising) is a native of Bangkok, born of Chinese parents. She has published more than ten novels, most of which reflect women's and children's perspectives. Susan Fulop Kepner has been translating Thai literature for more than 30 years, including A Child of the Northeast by Kampoon Boontawee and the anthology A Lioness in Bloom.show more

Table of contents

Translator's IntroductionPrologueLettersshow more

Review quote

This is a fascinating book, and I heartily recommend it to all Westerners who know and love Thailand. * Bangkok Post Sunday Magazine * The deft and at times hilarious comedy of these letters lies in the slow but relentless erosion of Tan Suang U's principles, under the balmy influence of a sunnier, lazier land. * The New York Review of Books *show more

Rating details

194 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 38% (74)
4 40% (78)
3 17% (33)
2 3% (6)
1 2% (3)

Our customer reviews

I just finished reading this book and have to say it is amazing! Very insightful into the challenges faced by immigrants in Thailand. Written by a Chinese immigrant a compilation of his letters home to his mum about his experiences in love, family, raising children, the challenges of keeping their chinese identity and customs and much much more! A fascinating read, hard to put down once you start reading.show more
by Shane P Goldberg
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