Top Five Thai Authors And Their Legendary Works
In the last decade, several well-known Thai authors have created valuable literary works that have influenced readers and society. Their legendary works remain in the public eye, provoking thought, providing enjoyment, creating inspiration, and opening up our world.
One cannot overlook the glorious history of Thai literature. In 2013, Bangkok was named the UNESCO World Book Capital. Thailand’s capital was recognized for its quality programs to promote books and also the concept of reading. From eminent novelists to upcoming writers, Thailand has a wide spectrum of literature that is worth reading and doting on. Let us read about some prominent Thai authors who have largely contributed to the country’s literature.
The late author, SeniSaowapong was also a diplomat and a journalist. In 1990, Saowapong was named a National Artist for literature and one of his most outstanding novels is Pee-sard (The Ghost), published in1957. Pee-sard criticizes the old values and feudal system embedded within Thai society and is told through the eyes of the main characters Ratchanee and Sai Seema, who represent new-generation Thais. Several works of Saowapong challenged what was considered normal in Thai society. Thus, he was viewed as a pioneer.
Prabda Yoon is famous for doing it all, from writing to translating to graphic designing and much more. At the age of 29, Yoon was awarded the S.E.A. Write Award for his collection of short stories titled ‘The Sad Part Was’. As a skillful translator, the writer has also worked upon some iconic pieces of literature like Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’ and Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’.
RongWongsawan, popularly known as the “great eagle” of local Thai literary circles, was honored in 1995 as a National Artist. Wongsawan’s versatile literary works range from short stories, novels, articles for newspapers and magazines, essays and documentaries to screenplays. The author rose to fame after his composition of Pa Concrete (Concrete Forest), a satire about Thai people residing in the United States during the golden age of hippies. Wongsawan is best known for his unorthodox literary style and for breaking the rules of Thai grammar.
ML SrifaMahawan wrote under several pen-names that included “SrifaLadawan”, “Seefa”, and “ChunladaPhakdiphumin”. The author adorned her short stories and novels with the aforementioned pen names. She received the recognition of a National Artist in 1996. Many of her novels depict social stigmas and flaws without making judgments and have also been made into movies and TV soap operas. Ladawan’s most acclaimed novel is ‘KaminKub Poon’ which portrays the struggles of the ruling class during the post-1932 Siamese Revolution leading up to World War II.
KanokpongSongsompan is a prominent literary adept, who gained fame through his book of short stories named ‘Pan Din Uen’ (The Other Land). The writer won the S.E.A Write award in 1996, and his stories largely reflect the life and culture of southern Thailand, his home territory. The author was awarded in two consecutive years by the prestigious institution Cho Karaket for two of his critically acclaimed short stories – ‘SapanKhad’ (The Broken Bridge), and ‘Loke Bai Lek Kong Salman’ (The Small World of Salman).
To acquire a clear picture of Thai society and its culture, it is essential to read the masterpieces created by the aforementioned Thai authors.