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The Resource Bangkok wakes to rain : a novel, Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok wakes to rain : a novel, Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Label
Bangkok wakes to rain : a novel
Title
Bangkok wakes to rain
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Pitchaya Sudbanthad
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"A house in the center of Bangkok becomes the point of confluence where lives are shaped by upheaval, memory, and the lure of home. Witness to two centuries' flux in one of the world's most restless cities, a house plays host to longings and losses past, present, and future. A nineteenth-century missionary doctor pines for the comforts of New England even as he finds the vibrant foreign chaos of Siam increasingly difficult to resist. A post-war society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting the course of her future. A jazz pianist is summoned in the 1970s to conjure music that will pacify resident spirits, even as he's haunted by ghosts of his former life. Not long after, a young woman gives swimming lessons in the luxury condos that have eclipsed the old house, trying to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in the post-submergence Bangkok of the future, a band of savvy teenagers guides tourists and former residents past waterlogged, ruined landmarks, selling them tissues to wipe their tears for places they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these stories collide and converge, linked by blood, memory, yearning, chance, and the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibian, ever-morphing city itself. Bangkok Wakes to Rain is a wildly imaginative, mesmerizing reading experience from an author at the beginning of what promises to be a thrilling career"--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2019
Review
  • Sudbanthad’s meditative debut drifts back and forth through time, evoking Bangkok past, present, and future. Loosely woven narratives follow Nee, a girl whose lover is killed during anti-government protests in 1973, as she navigates life in a melancholy city bleeding out its ancient culture. In one story, Nee is estranged from her sister Nok after she discovers Nok’s restaurant in Japan buys its Thai ingredients from a corrupt ex-colonel. In another, Nee goes to work managing a high-rise condo, the lobby of which is a colonial-style Thai house—the heart of this novel—once owned by one of the building’s wealthy elderly residents. When the old woman’s son comes home from abroad, he and Nee begin a disastrous affair. Interspersed among Nee’s stories (which are not presented chronologically) are beautifully wrought tales of a doctor-missionary in old Siam, whose Western faith morphs into enlightenment with the help of witch doctors, cholera, and despair. Occasionally birds will narrate a story—or an aging American jazz musician, another foreigner seduced by Krungthep, the name the Thai people use to describe their city. Though this novel’s ambitious architecture—disparate stories in shifting eras—can sometimes work against its considerable strengths, all of Sudbanthad’s characters live and breathe with authenticity, and his prose is deeply moving, making for an evocative debut. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed 12/10/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 50, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In his debut novel, a writer born in Thailand and now living in New York creates a portrait of Bangkok that sweeps across a century and a teeming cast of characters yet shines with exquisite detail. In its early chapters, the book reads like a collection of short stories linked only by their relationship to Bangkok: A nameless woman walks through its bustling streets in the present; an American doctor more than 100 years ago struggles to decipher its overwhelmingly foreign culture; a Thai photographer living in Los Angeles in the 1970s visits his ailing father in London; a woman running a Thai restaurant in Japan finds herself threatened by Thailand's politics. But as those seemingly unconnected stories accumulate, so do the threads that join them. Many are stories of loss and of survival. In one, a young Thai man named Siripohng, who has come to the city to attend university, meets a woman named Nee during the massive student demonstrations in 1973. Sudbanthad draws a subtle but achingly lovely account of their courtship, born of the hopeful spirit of the protests—then pivots to a shocking conclusion. In another, an American jazz musician called Crazy Legs Clyde is summoned to a woman's estate to play piano because a medium, she tells him, "counts twenty or so spirits in the pillar. They visit me in my dreams, and I'm tired of it. A woman my age needs her sound sleep." But the assignment to exorcise them raises a ghost from Clyde's past that won't be stilled. Ghosts haunt this novel, even the ghosts of buildings, like the ancient tile-roofed house preserved within the lobby of a gleaming new skyscraper where some of the book's characters will live (and at least one will die). As one character muses near the end of the novel, "The forgotten return again and again, as new names and faces, and again this city makes new ghosts." Yet in Sudbanthad's skillful hands and lyrical prose, every one of them seems vividly alive. This breathtakingly lovely novel is an accomplished debut, beautifully crafted and rich with history rendered in the most human terms. (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2018)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10755049
Cataloging source
PUL
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Sudbanthad, Pitchaya
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3619.U346
LC item number
B36 2019
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Bangkok (Thailand)
Target audience
adult
Label
Bangkok wakes to rain : a novel, Pitchaya Sudbanthad
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
360 pages
Isbn
9780525534761
Lccn
2018042208
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1037282837
  • (OCoLC)1037282837
Label
Bangkok wakes to rain : a novel, Pitchaya Sudbanthad
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
360 pages
Isbn
9780525534761
Lccn
2018042208
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1037282837
  • (OCoLC)1037282837

Library Locations

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      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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