My latest story in Nikkei Asia is an interview with Mai Nardone, author of Welcome Me to the Kingdom, a most excellent literary fiction collection of touching and brutal short stories on life in Thailand:
Western readers are likely to be surprised by the chasm between the well-established Thai stereotypes of beach holidays, spicy food and raucous nightlife and the tough realities of daily life in the country.
“I was interested in the types of delusions Thais subscribe to,” Nardone says. “I remember being at a temple in Khon Kaen with my family and the abbot was just making stuff up. He told us there was going to be a force field on the road and therefore we couldn’t leave at 7 p.m. My badminton coach told me about how she selected her lottery numbers. She knew a player who had won some minor prizes. She used his license plate. Lakorn, or Thai soap operas, feed into the same mythology. There are all these ways the country is pushing the lower classes to accept their position.”
Read the full story in Nikkei Asia.