A Good True Thai

Publisher: Epigram Books

Finalist for the 2020 Epigram Books Fiction Prize

In 1970s Thailand, three young people meet each other with fateful results. Det’s just lost his mother, the granddaughter of a king. He clings to Chang, a smart boy from the slums, as they go to college, where Det falls for Lek, a Chinese immigrant with radical ideals. Longing for glory, Det journeys into his friends’ political circles. A Good True Thai is a historic epic that takes the reader through Thailand’s most famous period of political and artistic openness, and asks the question: is democracy the most equitable type of government, or a foreign import suitable only to the West?

“A vivid, thoroughly-researched account of a moment in time when everything seemed up for grabs. When youthful idealism is brought crashing down by harsh political realities, what can be salvaged for the future? Sunisa Manning’s exploration of this turning point in Thai history is clear-eyed and compassionate, and written with real flair.”
Jeremy Tiang, Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of State of Emergency

“Epic in sweep but precise in its details, A Good True Thai shines on all fronts. Time and again, Sunisa Manning resists easy answers, reaching for nuance, for complexity, for truth. An astounding debut from a talented new voice.” 
Kirstin Chen, bestselling author of Bury What We Cannot Take

“Sunisa Manning understands deeply and innately that politics is woven through the strongest and most ambitious fiction, just as it is through life itself.” 
—Rachel Kushner, Booker-shortlisted author of The Mars Room

“The story of Thailand’s democracy movement in the 1970s is almost unknown in the rest of the world, but Sunisa Manning insists on recapturing and preserving it in this beautiful and astonishing novel. Read and immerse yourself in a narrative that speaks so profoundly to the condition of Thailand, and the world, today.” 
—Jess Row, award-winning author of Your Face in Mine

“Sunisa Manning brings to life a tortured, misunderstood nexus in the painful evolution of Thailand’s democracy with immediacy and vividness, never losing her sharply-drawn characters in the labyrinth of history. Mingling narratives of insider and outsider in a terse, swiftly-moving style, she drags the past into the present, unveiling complex truths with a remarkable clarity of vision.” 
—SP Somtow, multi-award-winning author of Jasmine Nights

“The 1970s leftist and anti-authoritarian protests that drive the characters in Manning’s authentic and engaging novel are among the most important and controversial political events in modern Thai history. Frighteningly, the general context of conflicts that the novel covers is still very relevant today. Foreigners who want to understand the long-lasting crisis in Thai society, and the complex psyche behind the famous ‘Thai smile’, should read this book.”
—Prabda Yoon, award-winning author of The Sad Part Was

ISBN: 9789814901260
Cover Type: Softcover
Page Count: 288
Year Published: 2020
Language: English

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