Wanrug "Fay" Suwanwattana is sweet _ and then something more. The graduate from Universite Paris 4, Sorbonne (her thesis is on Beckett) and lecturer in French literature at Thammasat University, Wanrug has made her name in the social/political commentary scene from her passionate, erudite discussion and articles that often ask hard questions on the state of things in our country.
She also co-hosts a programme called Divas Cafe on Voice TV, in which social and political headlines are discussed _ with wit, laughter and feminine barb. Sweet is fine, but sharp and socially conscious is always better.
What are you reading?
Many books on many things. On my bedstand is pleasure reading like the Thai novel Jan Dara. My armchair literature is books on Thai history after the 1932 Revolution. And on my desk are books on gender study and sexuality.
What is the book you've always wanted to read but still haven't?
Histoire de la Sexualite by Michel Foucault. I bought the book years ago, but I haven't read it because it discusses such a serious subject and I have to have time to dedicate to it.
Did you ever buy a book because everybody was talking about it, but when you actually read it you don't like it at all?
Never. I flip through everything before I buy it.
What was the last book that made you laugh?
This got me thinking... how little I laugh these days! The book is Nai Khao Wongkot (In The Labyrinth), a collection of articles by social and cultural critic Mukhom Wongtes.
What was the last book that made you choke or cry?
The funeral book of Ampon "Ah Kong" Tangnoppakul [a convict of the lese majeste law who died in prison] written by his wife. It made me sob and cry at the injustice of the Thai legal system.
Roughly, how many books have you bought that you haven't started reading yet?
About 400. There are English, French, and Thai novels and philosophy books. I've flipped through all of them though. I'm greedy, and I want to remind myself that there are so many things in this world that I don't know anything about, so I should never be too proud.
You're a lecturer on French literature. What is your most favourite book on the subject of France?
Picture books about French art. They best reflect the mentality, etat d'esprit, and the intellectual history as well as the changes in worldview of France and of humanity.
About the author
- Writer: Kong Rithdee
Position: Deputy Life Editor