marcel barang

Dead or alive?

In English on 22/09/2009 at 8:21 pm


For the October short story in Outlook, I offered the Bangkok Post ‘Murder cover-up’ (Khattakam Amphrang) by Naruecha Mueanjai-ngarm, a story I had found in Suchart Sawatsi’s Chor Karrakeit 33, published in 1997.

It’s the entertaining story of a man being harassed by police for the murder of his wife until the evidence makes the police officer eat crow, whereupon the man … – I can’t be more specific without spoiling the plot.

When Outlook publishes a short story, they interview the author and write him or her up, thus providing a fine package.

Trouble was, who is Naruecha Mueanjai-ngarm? No-one seemed to know who this could be. An Outlook sleuth called Khun Suchart to find out. The Pope of the Thai short story said that Khattakam Amphrang had been a one-off: the author never submitted another, at least under that (pen) name. ‘It seems he has since disappeared from the literary world. Khun Suchart offered to put up an announcement in his column in The Nation Weekly that we are looking for him,’ the sleuth reported.

To which I answered: ‘By all means. Perhaps it wasn’t just a short story, but a confession!’ In any case, if the stealthy author’s identity is revealed, the story can be run some other month.

Meanwhile, the October 5th Outlook issue will be graced with quite a different item: ‘Friends’ by Seksan Prasertkul – October oblige! –, a short story which happens to be a real story.


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