Veeraporn Nitiprapha talks childhood, modern love and what she would do if she were prime minister
Thai author Veeraporn Nitiprapha, 56, just had her seminal 2015 novel, The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth, translated into English for the first time. Veeraporn won her second SEA Write Award in 2018 for new novel Memories of the Memories of the Black-Rose-Cat. We sat down with her to chat about childhood, modern love and what she would do if she were prime minister.
I wanted to be a country music singer when I was younger.
I read a lot as a kid because I didn’t like studying and the television had only four channels. I didn’t get along with my family that well. My mom was busy most of the time but she would always make sure to bring a few books home.
The first book I fell in love with was I am David by Anne Holm. Back then, I didn’t truly understand the meaning of the immigrant story, but I liked the style.
I was so close to going broke before I won my first SEA Write Award—I only had B5,000 left. It’s not easy being an author.
True love is so problematic in the modern world—emotions are disregarded as there are so many other factors involved. Tinder isn’t for everyone.
I think I still believe in love. It’s all around for sure, but not everyone is lucky enough to experience it. It requires some luck.
I used to believe in the law of karma—my parents taught me that what goes around comes around—but over the past few years, I’ve stopped. A lot of bad people seem to be living the good life—just look at some politicians.
Bangkok used to be a very diverse city, but in the past few years it has turned into the rich people’s city.
Awards are just a matter of opinion. Don’t get me wrong, having won has definitely helped me with book sales and making a living, but it doesn’t make me a better writer, nor does it mean that my work is better than other people’s.
I am inspired when I don’t understand something. I work on a novel when I’m trying to find an answer.
"Thailand is going to be so f*cked up in 10 years time... and no one is really doing anything about it"
I felt like I had to write [Blind Earthworm in a Labyrinth] back in 2010 because the political situation was very bad then and I didn’t understand a lot of things.
Politics is not a reasonable thing, it is very emotional. Having different political views is one thing, but when you’re glad that the supporters of the other side were being killed—that’s a completely different story.
My biggest achievement is to be a mother.
A good writer should love life and people. I don’t think anyone can be a good writer if they can’t see the beauty in both happiness and sadness. Every day when I wake up, I start writing straight away, with a cup of coffee. That’s my favorite time to work because everything is still so quiet and no one has woken up yet.
I’m currently working on two books. There is not much I can tell you until they’re finished, except that one is for, or about, children.
Thailand is going to be so f*cked up in 10 years time. Not even—give it five years. And no one is really doing anything about it—there are no riots. The laws are so messed up, so are the economics.
If I were the prime minister of Thailand I would give everyone B2,000. Prayuth only gives B500.