These are feminist stories with a difference, in that many of them show how a male protagnonist is thinking, and how their thinking changes through encounter with the women around them. Which hopefully makes the reader take a long hard look at themselves and their own worldview, too.
This revalatory encounter can happen in long-term relationships, just as much as in fleeting encounters. Having a nice family seems far from guaranteed, after all.
The circle goes wider. This book doesn’t just hold a mirror up to relationships, it’s about the structural injustice that people face, men and women, boys and girls. Some of the stories are heartbreakingly sad.
The story told in so many charity donation letters – sponsor a child! – gets personal here. The characters are unforgettable. I’ve never been to Thailand, but the description is so vivid that I felt I had really been there by the time I stopped reading. And if I do ever go, I will be trying to see things with this author’s eyes, and through the eyes of the people she writes about. Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana, translated by Mui Poopoksakul, is published by the Feminist Press.