Breaking Out Thailand Novels
Sometimes I hear disgruntled writers saying publishers in American won’t publish novels set in Thailand. That is rubbish. John Burdett’s Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo were published by Random House and received a great amount of media attention.
More recently, a novel titled Fieldwork: A Novel by Mischa Berlinski has been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. That is one of the top literary publisher in New York. Stephen King has now lent his weight by endorsing the novel. Mischa Berlinski was born in New York in 1973 and studied classics at the University of California at Berkeley and at Columbia University.
Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “A fictional version of the author serves as the narrator of Berlinski's uneven first novel, a thriller set in Thailand. Mischa Berlinski, a reporter who's moved to northern Thailand to be with his schoolteacher girlfriend, Rachel, hears from his friend Josh about the suicide of Martiya van der Leun, an American anthropologist, in a Thai jail, where she was serving 50 years for murder. As Mischa begins to investigate Martiya's life and supposed crimes, he becomes increasingly obsessed with the woman. The complications that arise have the potential to be riveting, but the chatty narrative voice takes too many irrelevant detours to build much suspense.”
As far as I know the book is not available through bookstores in Thailand. While Publisher’s Weekly gave the novel a “mixed” review I’d like to make my own judgment about the book. Now I have to find a way to get a copy. You can read an excerpt by logging onto the author’s website: http://www.berlinski.com/mischa