Arid Dreams

Duanwad Pimwana, trans. from the Thai by Mui Poopoksakul. Feminist, $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-936932-56-6
In her incisive English-language debut collection, Pimwana profiles ordinary Thais as they look to realize their hopes and longings while navigating webs of family and community. In the title story, an unnamed young man returns to the beachside town of his youth, now overrun by tourists, and falls for a mysterious masseuse. “Sandals” follows two children, Tongjai and Kui, pulled from their lives in the city to help their parents in the sugar cane harvest. In “Wood Children,” Prakorb, an older man, grows concerned when his younger wife, Mala, begins carving children out of wood after they fail to conceive. Pimwana’s characters, whether they are truck drivers or farmers, doctors or prisoners, are realized with depth, affection, and a good degree of humor. The petty concerns of their daily lives—frustrated careers, infidelity, reconnecting with distant family— are hypnotically rendered in Pimwana’s telling. This is an exciting debut. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2019
Release date: 04/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
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