marcel barang

Remember this name

In English on 11/07/2009 at 2:41 pm

I don’t know him, we’ve never met, but talked shop once or twice briefly on the phone and exchanged lots of emails, as, ever since last August, he has been subbing my translations of Thai short stories published every first Monday of the month in the Outlook section of the Bangkok Post – and doing an excellent job of it, incisive, cautious and courteous.

Recently, one thing led to another and he sent me half a dozen samples of what he says are the hundred-odd short stories he has penned so far (besides one or two novels still in publishers’ pipelines) and is busy arranging for publication into no fewer than three volumes.

If samples these are, they show a very wide register, from plain to magic realism, from psychological drama to dreamy science fiction, from humour to horror, and in a great variety of locations, plots and atmospheres – all written in fluid English with felicitous turns of phrase that denote great powers of observation, an ear for music and writing self-confidence.

I understand the author is half-American and half-German by birth, but that’s beside the point. On the strength of this fistful of stories, the point is that he is a hell of a good fiction writer you will want to read in coming decades: Ezra Erker. Remember this name.

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