Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana [in Booklist]
One of Thailand’s most prominent writers, Pimjai Juklin – who publishes as Duanwad Pimwana – presents 13 resonating stories featuring the everyday lives of Thai citizens of diverse backgrounds, each confronting entrapment physically, emotionally, and socially.
In “The Attendant,” an elevator operator enclosed daily in a small moving box longs for the open farms of his youth, while two siblings in “Sandals” wish for their city life when they’re conscripted to work on a sugar plantation with their parents. In the titular “Arid Dreams,” a young man on island holiday becomes instantly obsessed with a local woman whose intimate services are available only to foreigners, while in “The Final Secret of Inmate Black Tiger,” a man on death row needs his last confession delivered to a prostitute he once knew. In “Wood Children,” an older man’s young wife carves the children she doesn’t have into wood, while in “Within These Walls,” a gravely injured politician’s wife imagines a life alone.
Former New-York-City-lawyer-turned-translator Mui Poopoksakul provides overdue access to Pimwana’s international award-winning fiction.
Published: 2019 (United States)