Gossiping, girl's nights out and gold-digging crushes are instantly recognisable tropes of the popular literary genre of female commercial literature, known as chick-lit. Now we can add som tam and spice to the list because the genre has a new Thai counterpart. Tichakorn Khroopan Hill's debut novel, From Bangkok with Despair: (mis)adventures in DC, on the surface seems to retread the stiletto-punctured paths of the genre with blind faith, but the subtleties of having a Thai author (and protagonist) at the narrative helm gently surface like bubbles in a big mango Bellini. So how has Tichakorn brought a distinctly Thai flavour to the book and how much will she confess is autobiographical?
"The main character, Joyjira, does share some of my characteristics," says Tichakorn.
"For example, we both love Hello Kitty and cheesy love songs. We also both hate germs and geckos, and she's a reporter just like I was in my previous life. But she's a lot stronger, braver and funnier than I am."
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