I don’t know why you would call a ‘seasonal literary magazine’ Lunar Eclipse – or rather Rahu Om Jan, Rahu gobbles up the moon – but that’s what I was reading in the last couple of nights, its sixth issue, covering July-September 2009 (the attached picture is the cover of the fifth issue). It’s produced by the Kanokphong Songsomphan Fund around the Nakorn printing press.
In trade book format, it’s a compendium of ten short stories plus plus, allegedly by new talents, although Chatcharin Chayawat and Prapatsorn Seiwikun are a bit long in the tooth and Kanokphong Songsomphan has been dead for some time.
Anyway, my favourite in that batch is ‘Phiang Mong’ (Just looking) by Jirat Chalermsaen-yakorn, whose biographical notice says he was born in 1984 in Lop Buri and has written short stories since he was in senior high school. I’ll translate this story for the Bangkok Post sometime.
I owe the discovery of this alternative to Suchart Sawatsee’s Chor Karrakeit to Phee Worn and Nong Noo (Siriworn Kaewkan and Kanthorn Aksornnam) who came visiting the other day. I’ll try to get the back issues as well.
Siriworn was bringing me the proofs of my translation of his The Murder Case of Tok Imam Storpa Karde, which he is about to publish, as well as a first book in Thai desecrating the vast burial grounds of erstwhile wanakam.com with my blessings: Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows.
Last night, Kanthorn sent me her latest two short stories, which don’t quite make the grade: soft stories about childhood memories, one smooth enough if not really strong, the other too schematic, too ‘written’.
I have a soft spot for her, though: she is the first Thai I have met who actually likes pastis – I was so thrilled I gave her a bottle of it there and then. Usually Thais make a wry face when they take a sip of it: its anis content reminds them of a purgative, ya kritsadakarn, cod liver oil to them.