Suchart Sawatsi: Thailand’s First Man of Letters


  • David Smyth, SOAS, University of London, UK



Despite a small output of fictional works, Suchart Sawatsi is, without doubt, the single most influential figure in the contemporary Thai literary world. For nearly four decades he has campaigned tirelessly, through magazine articles, newspaper columns, edited books, and public lectures and seminars, to create awareness among the Thai public of the country’s small but vibrant modern literary culture. The monthly literary magazine Lok Nangsu’ (Book World, 1977-83) and the quarterly short story magazine, Cho’ Karaket (Screwpine Bouquet, 1978-99) are particularly important legacies of his energy and vision; the former, because it introduced a generation of readers to unfamiliar writers from both Thailand and beyond, and the latter because it launched the careers of many of today’s better-known writers. His best known creative writing is a collection of short stories first published in 1972 under the title, Khwam Ngiap (Silence).



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Author Biography

David Smyth, SOAS, University of London, UK

David Smyth is a Senior Lecturer in Thai at SOAS, University of London. His publications include a number of articles on modern Thai literature, translations of Thai novels and short stories, self-instruction courses in Thai and Cambodian and a grammar of Thai. He is editor of a forthcoming dictionary of Southeast Asian writers which includes substantial biographical entries on more than sixty authors from the region.An English translation of Khwam Ngiap by Martin Clutterbuck, Martin Platt and David Smyth is scheduled for publication in Bangkok in 2008.




How to Cite

Smyth, SOAS, University of London, UK, D. (2007). Suchart Sawatsi: Thailand’s First Man of Letters. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 1(1).