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Additional Information
ISBN: 9781931883801
Pages: 184
Size: 5 x 8
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Distributed By: Publishers Group West


by Duanwad Pimwana
Translated from Thai by
Mui Poopoksakul

“Enchanting . . . [a] melancholy-tinged but still exuberant novel.”
Publishers Weekly

When five-year-old Kampol is told by his father to sit in front of their run-down apartment building and await his return, the confused boy does as he’s told—he waits and waits and waits, until he realizes his father isn’t coming back anytime soon. Adopted by the community, Kampol is soon being raised by figures like Chong the shopkeeper, who rents out calls on his telephone and goes into debt extending his customers endless credit.

Dueling flea markets, a search for a ten-baht coin lost in the sands of a beach, pet crickets that get eaten for dinner, bouncy ball fads, and loneliness so merciless that it kills a boy’s appetite all combine into this first-ever novel by a Thai woman to appear in the U.S. Duanwad Pimwana’s urban, at times gritty vignettes are balanced with a folktale-like feel and a charmingly wry sense of humor. Together, they combine into the off-beat, satisfying, and sometimes magical coming-of-age story of an unforgettable young boy and the timeless legends, traditions, and personalities that go into his formation.


“Enchanting . . . [a] melancholy-tinged but still exuberant novel.” —Publishers Weekly

“Beyond Duanwad Pimwana’s devoted handling of Kampol’s perspective, what makes Bright a pleasure is her careful effort in crafting a world of people for the boy to investigate . . . Pimwana’s use of characterization is superb.” —Words Without Borders

“Originally published in 2002, the novel—a bildungsroman about a young boy who is abandoned by his parents and never quite comes of age—is taught in schools and universities across the country and is well on its way toward becoming a modern Thai classic.” —Brooklyn Rail

Bright is a wonderful introduction to a masterful contemporary Thai voice.” — Split Lip Reviews

“An authentic portrait of a working-class community in Thailand . . . Bright will prove to be seminal for Thailand’s place in the literary world.” — Prabda Yoon, author of Moving Parts

“Duanwad Pimwana has a knack for finding the gap between who we are and who we’d like to be, and deftly inserting her scalpel there. Across the villages and cities of Thailand, her characters exist in a state of constant anxiety, unable to fit in but having nowhere else to go.”
—Jeremy Tiang, author of State of Emergency

Duanwad Pimwana is a major voice in contemporary Thai literature. She won Southeast Asia’s most prestigious literary prize—the S.E.A. Write Award——in 2003 for her novel Bright, and she is also the recipient of awards from PEN International Thailand and others. Acclaimed for her subtle fusing magic realism with Thai urban culture, she has written nine books, and her work has appeared in Words Without Borders and Asymptote.
Mui Poopoksakul is a lawyer turned translator with a special interest in contemporary Thai literature. She is the translator of Prabda Yoon’s The Sad Part Was and Moving Parts, both from Tilted Axis Press. She is translating a novel and a story collection by Duanwad Pimwana, both forthcoming in 2019 from Two Lines Press and Feminist Press, respectively. A native of Bangkok who spent two decades in the U.S., she now lives in Berlin, Germany.