The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth

A review by T. F. Rhoden of The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth by Veeraporn Nitiprapha, translated by Kong Rithdee.

Some authors capture a time and place effortlessly. They draw upon aspects of popular culture and spin them into a literary tale that is more powerful and longer-lasting than the milieu from which they sprang. Veeraporn Nitiprapha is such a writer. But as her work has only appeared in Thai, she has been beyond the reach of most of the world.

One cliché that the author has taken aim at recently for the Thai reading public is the Thai soap opera. For context, one of the most viewed television series in Thailand these days is Club Friday—a series in its tenth season, which follows characters as they swim their way through counter-currents of romance, infidelity, and Buddhist karma. Into this media landscape, Veeraporn has published her artful and lyrical novel The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth. This is the first book-length translation of Veeraporn’s fiction in English. The novel is a poetic and surrealistic reimagining of the Thai romance, where the main characters are lost between unrequited desires and fantastical dreams that are realer than their everyday lives.

The story follows two vivacious sisters, Chalika and Chareeya, as they… [click here to continue to read full text]

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*Review of The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth originally published in Asian Review of Books by T. F. Rhoden; photo image credit for this re-post is via the talented Nick Knight. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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Outrageous Thai: Slang, Curses and Epithets

New book on Thai language!

First-ever real guidebook to learn Thai slang, published by Tuttle Publishing, entitled Outrageous Thai: Slang, Curses and Epithets. Purchase through any normal book distributor or online with Amazon.

Description

The Thai people love fun and laughter. They appreciate foreigners who speak their language. But how would they react to foreigners who throw insults in the Thai language and know how to make them blush at the use of direct and vulgar Thai words? This Thai phrasebook, while designed to teach non–Thais to understand that spoken language on the street or in everyday life, also teachers powerful words that could easily get them punched in the face–probably worse. So, be cautious. This little book contains powerful words. A non–Thai, especially a Westerner, will appreciate the opportunity to learn some really strong and direct language that his Thai colleagues would rather he not know. Learn how to call someone hot or ugly, a walrus or a potbelly, stupid or a hypocrite. Know how to put off lechers by saying “Piss off!” in the strongest possible way.

Intended for just about anyone who wants to get the most reactions from any Thai within hearing distance, this book is simply the best reference you need to survive Thailand. Not just a simple phrasebook, Outrageous Thai teaches how to really speak Thai, and understand the Thai language. Know what Thais really mean and answer back. Features of this Thai phrasebook are:

– Compact travel size.
– Hundreds of colorful Thai phrases organized by topic and use.
– Extensive explanations of context and culture.
– All phrases shown in written Thai script, Romanized Thai and English.

Intended for students of all levels and anyone interested in how Thai is really spoken, this book is absolutely indispensable for foreigners who live in Thailand and want to know what is being said when someone insults you in Thai!

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Original ed. edition (2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804840539
ISBN-13: 978-0804840538
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces

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*Original copyright for book is held by T. F. Rhoden; photo credit for image of this post via Top10TripList. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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