by Saneh Sangsuk
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
Publication date: 26 October 2023
Press & Reviews
‘There’s no forgetting Sangsuk’s The Understory—a masterfully told fable of humanity daring to claim the vaster wilderness, enlivened by Poopoksakul’s thoughtful, nuanced translation.’ - Pitchaya Sudbanthad, author of Bangkok Wakes to Rain
‘A vivid fable of power and resistance, [Venom] will continue to resonate long after the last page has been read.’ - Jessie Greengrass, author of The High House and Sight
'A gripping, sensual parable, seamlessly translated by Mui Poopoksakul.' - Catherine Taylor, The Irish Times
A story about the dissolving borders between human and animal, life and death, love and cruelty, Venom by Saneh Sangsuk is a kind of philosophical fairy tale, with both danger and beauty always lurking at its edges. Told through shifting perspectives in poetic prose, this slim novel is densly packed with ideas and energy, providing a thrilling introduction to Sangsuk’s work. – Asymptote Journal
‘A perfect blend of sharply observed naturalism and subtle allegory – Venom will delight and intrigue its new readers and find an enduring place in world literature.’ - John Gray, author of Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life and False Dawn: the Delusions of Global Capitalism
'It’s a pleasure to be introduced to award-winning Thai author Saneh Sangsuk. Translated by Mui Poopoksakul, his novella Venom reads like a fable where superstition and misfortune collide.' - Lucy Popescu, The Tablet
About The Book
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.