The Understory

by Saneh Sangsuk


Preorder now for delivery upon publication (October 2023).

Luang Paw Tien, the abbot of Praeknamdang Temple, is ninety-three years old and a treasure trove of stories. Most nights he entertains the children of his village with tales from his long and extraordinary life: of his childhood in a previous century, of his fifteen year pilgrimage to India and back, and of the plenitude and majesty of the jungle, in a time when it was rich with elephants, peacocks and turtles. But what the children want to hear most of all are tales of the tiger, a creature which has marked the abbots life more deeply and terribly than any other. From the mind of Saneh Sangsuk, one of the most respected and beloved of Thai authors, The Understory is a novel about storytelling, a changing world and the fearsome power of nature.

240pp, paperback with flaps, £12.99
ISBN 978-1-908670-81-6
Publication date: 26 October 2023

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About The Book


Saneh Sangsuk (b. 1957) is an award-winning Thai author, known locally by his pen name Dan-arun Saengthong. He is regarded in Thailand as one of the greatest writers of his generation, having written multiple acclaimed novels and story collections. He is a highly prolific literary translator, working under different pen names, and counts Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Franz Kafka, Gabriel García Márquez and Knut Hamsun among the numerous authors he has translated. In 2014, he won Thailand’s coveted SEA Write Award for Venom and Other Stories (Asorraphit), a collection that includes some of his best-known stories. In 2018, the Thai government awarded him the title of National Artist for his contributions to the country’s literature, and he has also been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Sangsuk lives in Phetchaburi, in a small village similar to the fictional Praeknamdang, where many of his tales are set.


Mui Poopoksakul is a lawyer turned translator. Her book-length translations include works by contemporary Thai authors Prabda Yoon and Duanwad Pimwana. For her translation of Sangsuk’s The Understory, she was awarded a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. Mui lives in Berlin, Germany.