I came across an article by Lisanaree Vichitsorasatra in the online journal The Diplomat today about the state of independent bookstores and indy lit in general in Thailand. It seems indy lit struggles against the mainstream, with Thai literature and translated works competing with romance novels and “the familiar plot of the handsome aristocrat forced into an arranged marriage, who falls for a poor damsel in distress who needs money to help her dying dad.” However, there are independent bookstores working to offer a broader range of literary works. If you’re in Thailand, give the article a read to find a bookstore near you (or, if you’re like me, you’re just curious about what’s being written and what’s being translated these days).
I was surprised to learn that Bangkok is UNESCO’s 2013 World Book Capital. Who knew?
(For those of you waiting on the edge of your chairs for the promised post on the Thai poetry khlong form, stay tuned! I know there are some poetry geeks out there, right? I’m not the only one, right?)