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Found in translation: Thai literature reaches West

New translators lead contemporary authors out of the global margins

Reproductions of works by Thai contemporary artists accompany the poems and short stories in the first edition of The Bangkok Literary Review.   © Nikkei montage/source photos courtesy of The Bangkok Literary Review/River Books/Feminist Press/Two Lines Press

BANGKOK -- For years, the Thailand sections of Bangkok's English-language bookstores have been dominated by a colorful yet shallow mixture of popular and academic history, travel guides, coffee-table cookbooks and expatriate-penned thrillers that amplify the country's less-savory aspects. What they have sorely lacked, in other words, is Thai voices.

Slowly, however, that is changing: From an earthy bildungsroman to an unremittingly lyrical love story, contemporary Thai literature in translation is making its presence felt as never before.

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