Publication Date

7-1-2002

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Abstract

I was a sophomore from a small village when Pira Sudham, the author of Monsoon Country and People of Esarn, came to speak at my university about poverty and the forgotten beauty of his people, my people, the poor people of Esarn, the Northeastern region of Thailand. Listening to his sad yet courageous stories, I was reminded over again that I, too, had stories to tell, though it would be some years before I finally sat down to puzzle them out. The result is a memoir of my childhood years in rural Surin, where the mother tongue is Khmer, where most are poor farmers and their rice fields are both their work place and their children's playgrounds. While writing this memoir I couldn't help but wonder why I had so often recalled my childhood years as among the dearest times of my life, despite all the rural hardship. There must be magic in being a child. There must be wonder in grandma's tales, the hunting of wild fruit, the swims in the pond and those walks in the woods. My village was my world, and it has much to teach largely because its being complex, difficult and painful and yet somehow simple and, above all, beautiful.

Disciplines

Creative Writing | English Language and Literature