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July 1, 2022 | Rome, Italy


By | 2018-03-21T18:27:51+01:00 October 1st, 2008|Recent Reviews|

By Rattawut Lapcharoensap

Atlantic Books, 2004. 250 pages.

Rattawut Lapcharoensap is a natural. The eight short stories in this dazzling debut collection benefit from two centralities: Lapcharoensap is absolutely Thai; he’s also Chicago-born and Michigan educated, which means he’s using his native English to Thai up loose ends.

The narrator in “Farangs” has a pet pig named Clint Eastwood; in “Priscilla the Cambodian,” Thais burn down the houses of squatting Cambodians; in “Cockfighters,” the longest story, a father-son paradigm is wired through a sport Westerners deplore. Thailand gets ample treatment in thriller fiction (John Burdett loves it), but Lapcharoensap is a knowing, seeing eye; cold yet kind. This is “Under the Thai Sun” as filtered through mature hard knocks.

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