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BOOKS: 'Beads on a String' by Paul and Yuangrat Wedel

Historical novel dramatizes Thailand's absorption of its southern provinces

Penned by husband and wife team Paul and Yuangrat Wedel, the historical novel “Beads on a String” captures southern Siam at the turn of the 19th century. (Courtesy of River Books)

Southern Thailand is best known nowadays for beach resorts such as Phuket and Hua Hin and island attractions such as Koh Tao and Koh Phangan (notorious for its once popular Full Moon bacchanals). However, these sunny destinations have almost fallen off the international tourist map in the age of COVID-19, handing the country's southern provinces back to the Thais who have settled there over the centuries, their lives and lifestyles now untroubled by mass tourism, at least for a brief interlude.

This is an appropriate time, therefore, to contemplate the recent history of this vibrant region in the recently published "Beads on a String," a historical novel penned by husband and wife team Paul and Yuangrat Wedel.

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