Kepner's selection shows the many ways fiction has mirrored the lives of Thai women over the twentieth century. The spectrum is broad, encompassing the young and the old, the rural and the cosmopolitan, the privileged and the poor. Some writers address previously unacceptable themes: female sexuality, spousal abuse, gender oppression. Others display a scintillating sense of humor. They touch on many themes—injustice, the heartlessness of society, loneliness, the difficult choices that life presents. Susan Kepner's lyrical, faithful translations preserve the tenor and resonances of these voices, many of which will be heard for the first time by English-speaking readers.
Susan Fulop Kepner has been a Lecturer in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1991. Among the works she has translated from Thai are Letters from Thailand by Botan (1977) and A Child of the Northeast by Kampoon Boontawee (1987). She has also written a book of original prose poems entitled Somebody's Mother (1987).
"Kudos! Kudos! Kudos! I was bowled over by this marvel of an anthology. Each tale is a multifaceted jewel, some gleaming with irony, others rough-hewn with the pragmatics of old karma and fresh opportunity, all of them as riveting as the best of O. Henry stories. Kepner's translation gives the reader a seamless link to the Thai voice and heart. She has amassed a brilliant collection that is sure to appeal to any reader who loves the magic of storytelling."—Amy Tan
"Powerful, accomplished stories and intimate views of family life."—Michael Davidson, author of The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century