Arid Dreams

by Duanwad Pimwana (Author), Mui Poopoksakul (Translator)

“One of Thailand’s preeminent female writers . . . Each of her stories poses its own moral challenge, pleasurable and unsettling at once . . . phenomenal.” —

In thirteen stories that investigate ordinary and working-class Thailand, characters aspire for more but remain suspended in routine. They bide their time, waiting for an extraordinary event to end their stasis. A politician’s wife imagines her life had her husband’s accident been fatal, a man on death row requests that a friend clear up a misunderstanding with a sex worker, and an elevator attendant feels himself wasting away while trapped, immobile, at his station all day.

With curious wit, this collection offers revelatory insight and subtle critique, exploring class, gender, and disenchantment in a changing country.

“Arid Dreams is stark, sly, and unsparingly brilliant. Here is a writer unafraid to pick up the scalpel of her prose and use it to cut to the bone. Each story is more compelling than the last, each combines dark humor with deeper truths about human desire and depravity. I couldn’t look away.” —Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young

“Pimwana’s characters, whether they are truck drivers or farmers, doctors or prisoners, are realized with depth, affection, and a good degree of humor. The petty concerns of their daily lives—frustrated careers, infidelity, reconnecting with distant family—are hypnotically rendered in Pimwana’s telling. This is an exciting debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“A deep and thoughtful exploration of human psyches and the dreams of ordinary Thais in an ever-changing socio-economic environment.” —Bangkok Post

“An exacting look at the moments of joy and tragedy, of hope and desire.” —Independent Book Review

Publication date
June 02, 2021
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
16 MB