How often do we have the opportunity to listen to the voice of a female Thai writer? Writing not about fabulous beaches or exotic attractions tailored to Western tourists, but about the everyday life of people belonging to the lower layeers of Thai society – blue-collar workers or prostitutes. Her voice is that of a feminist (although she does not use this term herself, believing that it is insufficient to describe her prose), for whom issues of equality are crucial. But in her short stories, women rarely tell their own tales. Silenced, pushed away even in their own narratives, are shown to the reader through the words of men who are – very often – obsessed with them and try to control their actions, behavior or appearance. Her stories talk about the dynamics of power in relationships between men and women, but also in society in general. Women are objectified, their value is measured by their appearance, and betrayal and violence are everyday occurences.
Duanwad Pimwana is one of the most interesting writers of contemporary Thailand, whose stories are widely appreciated. Arid Dreams contains thirteen short texts, selected and translated by Mui Poopoksakul, which were created over the last two decades – so they can be both a very good introduction to the writer’s work and a panorama of modern Thailand. Not the country from advertising folders, but the ordinary and everyday one.