Behind The Painting

After I bought this, my better half perked up. This book, she said, is a sort of classic. It’s one of those books that every Thai student is given to read in high school. She then quoted to me a translation of the final line, which is, apparently (and one other Thai person confirmed this to me), iconic.

I die with no one to love me, yet content that I have someone to love.

We were at a Cherry Blossom festival in San Francisco’s Japanese neighborhood (in LA, that neighborhood was called Little Tokyo, but I think in SF they called it Japantown) and I excused myself to check out Forest Books, a great little used bookstore, specializing in books about Asia and literature in translation. They had shelves devoted to Eastern European, Chinese, and Japanese literature. And they had a Southeast Asian shelf, so I figured I would see if they had anything from Thailand. Not knowing anything about it, I bought this.

It’s romantic, and I’m a sucker for that, even if it was a little slight.

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