As I went to the BOOK EXPO Thailand 2005 last week, I met the author of the book at Matichon publisher’s booth and I didn’t let a chance of getting his autograph for the book pass by. Beside from his signature, he also wrote for me "We met each other because of the book." and yes, indeed, it’s true.
I’ve intended to write about this since last week but didn’t do so until now that I finally finished reading this book. "Chao Ngin" is a short story collection written by Binlar Sankalakiri (the pen-name of a journalist named Wuthichart Choomsanit.) The book is selected as this year’s winner of S.E.A. Write Awards for Thailand. Just look at the title of the book "Chao Ngin (เจ้าหงิญ)," you may wonder what it is all about. Why do the letters "ญ" and "ง" in Thai word "เจ้าหญิง" (which literally translated as "Princess" in English) switch places? In English, it is like you jumble the word as "Princses." I myself also wonder about the reason behind this weird and eye-rising title. However, once I finished reading the first chapter of the book, I started to realize what the writer is trying to say. At the end of the last page of book, I felt mesmerized. It is no wonder why the book got the awards. There are eight short stories of modern day fairy-tale in the book and each story (chapter) could be considered as an individual tale or all stories could be viewed together as a collection of stories within a big story. Reading each chapter Independently or altogether, you would definitely enjoy the book. The story is unpredictable and full of surprises. Just like all fairy-tales, in the end, even though it is not stated explicitly, you would always learn the moral of the story. The book reminds us all that there is always a bright side of life, which makes this bitter world of reality tolerable and beautiful.
It’s hard to say which one of these eight fantastic stories is my favorite, as I like them all. However, If I have to pick one, I would say that my favorite story is "the eighth color of the rainbow."