Bangkok Wakes to Rain: Book summary and reviews of Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok Wakes to Rain

by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad X
Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad
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Book Summary

A house in Bangkok is the confluence of lives shaped by upheaval, memory, and the lure of home.

A missionary doctor pines for his native New England even as he succumbs to the vibrant chaos of nineteenth-century Siam. A post-WWII society woman marries, mothers, and holds court, little suspecting her solitary future. A jazz pianist in the age of rock, haunted by his own ghosts, is summoned to appease the resident spirits. A young woman tries to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in New Krungthep, savvy teenagers row tourists past landmarks of the drowned old city they themselves do not remember. Time collapses as these stories collide and converge, linked by the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibious, ever-morphing capital itself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This breathtakingly lovely novel is an accomplished debut, beautifully crafted and rich with history rendered in the most human terms." - Kirkus

"Though this novel's ambitious architecture - disparate stories in shifting eras - can sometimes work against its considerable strengths, all of Sudbanthad's characters live and breathe with authenticity, and his prose is deeply moving, making for an evocative debut." - Publishers Weekly

"Providing only a few details to indicate time and place in this assured debut, Sudbanthad provides a broad overview of Bangkok 's history while diving deep into individual stories of romance, revolution, and suffering. The result is similar to an Impressionist painting, a picture made up of many vivid stories that combine to create a resonant whole." - Booklist

"Beautifully written." – Southern Living, Best New Winter Books

"An important, ambitious, and accomplished novel. Sudbanthad deftly sweeps us up in a tale that paints a twin portrait: of a megacity like those so many of us call home and of a world where sanctuary is increasingly hard to come by." - Mohsin Hamid

"Gorgeously polyphonic and saturated in the senses, this novel brims with a wistful and gripping energy as it carries us through time and space. Sudbanthad brilliantly sounds the resonant pulse of the city in a wise and far-reaching meditation on home." - Claire Vaye Watkins

"A bold and tender novel with a simple, ingenious conceit - the stories a house can contain, from a city's colonial past to its antediluvian future. Sudbanthad arrives to us already a masterful innovator of the form - a startlingly original debut." – Alex Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

"Beautifully textured and rich with a sense of place, this is a big, ambitious book. Sudbanthad compellingly captures not only the long arcs of these lives but also the smallest moments, and how those moments linger in memory, how they haunt." – Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles and The Dreamers

This information about Bangkok Wakes to Rain was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Pitchaya Sudbanthad grew up in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the American South. He's a contributing writer at The Morning News and has received fellowships in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the MacDowell Colony.

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