One of the best-reviewed books of last year, Veeraporn Nitiprapha’s pessimistically titled Saiduan Ta Bod Nai Khaowongkot ( A Blind Earthworm In A Labyrinth) takes on the oldest form of popular reading, a love triangle, though what elevates it beyond a romantic drama is the strong political backdrop — she started writing the book after the May crackdown of 2010 — and her evocative description of food, as well as music.
Inspired by reports of agonised love in tabloid magazines, Veeraporn said that if life is a form of melodrama, so is politics, especially Thailand at the present.
Is the SEA Write Award still as significant as it once was?
The book and music industries are alike for their need of institutional supports. SEA Write can get people’s attention. But the opinion of readers is the absolute indicator. A book that never won any awards can be successful too, if it gets good responses from readers.
Why should people read your book?
There are a million reasons to read books but not a single reason for not to. Ideally, we should read every book being written. Since it is impossible, all we can do is read as many books as we can. We only have one life to live on a planet populated by over 6 billion, and it is almost impossible to see the world as it is. Reading books and listening to music will enable us to comprehend other perspectives and see the world in various dimensions.
How did you feel the moment you finished writing the first sentence of this book? Did you know you had a book in you?
Alone. The feeling of being alone from living in a land where people are turning against one another, and the conflict heads in a direction that is increasingly violent, overwhelming and without end.
What did you read while you were writing this book?
When I write, I will not read other books. Yet I remembered listening to plenty of songs.
Any Thai or international writers you’d recommend?
Let that be the duty of book critics. I prefer not to cast my judgement on this matter.