Bangkok Wakes to Rain (Hardback)Pitchaya Sudbanthad (author)
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 EDWARD STANFORD 'FICTION WITH A SENSE OF PLACE' AWARD
Places remember us...
'An important, ambitious, and accomplished novel. Sudbanthad deftly sweeps us up in a tale that paints a twin portrait: of a megacity like those so many of us call home and of a world where sanctuary is increasingly hard to come by' Mohsin Hamid
In the restless city of Bangkok, there is a house.
Over the last two centuries, it has played host to longings and losses past, present, and future, and has witnessed lives shaped by upheaval, memory and the lure of home.
A nineteenth-century missionary pines for the comforts of New England, even as he finds the vibrant foreign chaos of Siam increasingly difficult to resist. 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. A young woman in a time much like our own 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 submerged Bangkok of the future, a band of savvy teenagers guides tourists and former residents past waterlogged landmarks, selling them tissues to wipe their tears for places they themselves do not remember.
Time collapses as their stories collide and converge, linked by blood, memory, yearning, chance, and the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibian, ever-morphing city itself.
Praise for Bangkok Wakes to Rain:
'Beautifully textured and rich with a sense of place . . . compellingly captures not only the long arcs of these lives - but also the smallest moments, and how those moments linger in memory, how they haunt.' Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles
'A bold and tender novel about the unforgivable and the unforgiven, and how to live past what you thought you could not survive. Sudbanthad arrives to us already a masterful innovator of the form.' Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
'Moves with an elegant restlessness that seems to match the city's own. Reading this book feels like waking to a singular and important new voice.' Rajesh Parameswaran, author of I Am An Executioner
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 581 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 30 mm
Beautifully textured and rich with a sense of place -- Karen Walker Thompson
A swirling, always surprising storytelling structure that at times recalls David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas . . . Despite the novel's obvious ecological and political concerns, we stay anchored in the characters' daily struggles, even as the world changes around them - a sensation that speaks not just to our feeling of powerlessness in the face of history, but to the belief in the inevitability of destiny and karma. * Guardian *
An important, ambitious, and accomplished novel. Sudbanthad deftly sweeps us up in a tale that paints a twin portrait: of a megacity like those so many of us call home and of a world where sanctuary is increasingly hard to come by. -- Mohsin Hamid
Remarkable . . . Sudbanthad's debut rewards close attention . . . [his] blend of travelogue with social and political history is compelling * Financial Times *
Beautifully textured and rich with a sense of place, this is a big, ambitious book. I love the way Sudbanthad so compellingly captures not only the long arcs of these lives-but also the smallest moments, and how those moments linger in memory, how they haunt. -- Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles
Bold and tender . . . Sudbanthad arrives to us already a masterful innovator of the form-a startlingly original debut. -- Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
Pitchaya Sudbanthad's beautiful, ambitious first novel Bangkok Wakes To Rain moves with an elegant restlessness that seems to match the city's own. Reading this book feels like waking to a singular and important new voice -- Rajesh Parameswaran, author of I Am An Executioner
Gorgeously polyphonic and saturated in the senses, Bangkok Wakes to Rain brims with a wistful and gripping energy. Sudbanthad carries us through time and space with a magician's hand, with a visionary's eye . . . This wise and far-reaching meditation on home will sink into your bones. -- Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
This breathtakingly lovely novel is an accomplished debut, beautifully crafted and rich with history rendered in the most human terms. * Kirkus *
Ambitious and sweeping, yet at once intimately crafted and shot through with fine detail, Bangkok Wakes to Rain is a sumptuous accomplishment. * Esquire, 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2019 *
[M]editative...beautifully wrought...all of Sudbanthad's characters live and breathe with authenticity, and his prose is deeply moving, making for an evocative debut. * Publishers Weekly *
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