Thai novelist depicts life of migrant workers in Taiwan in new book

Acclaimed writer Rewat Panpipat uses real-life stories of Thai workers as inspiration for ‘Birds on a Wire’

Thai novelist Rewat Panpipat. (Facebook, Treasure Hill Artist Village photo)

Thai novelist Rewat Panpipat. (Facebook, Treasure Hill Artist Village photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Award-winning Thai novelist Rewat Panpipat on Friday (Oct. 2) has released his latest book "Birds on a Wire" (候鳥) and said it was inspired by the stories of real migrant workers in Taiwan.

Speaking at the Book Expo Thailand 2020, Panpipat said the book was based on his observations and the stories he gathered from Thai workers during a stay in Taiwan between 2017 and 2018. He said he wants to explore the relationship between people and their destiny.

Panpipat's first encounter with Taiwan was in 2017 when the Ministry of Culture invited him to participate in the Asian Poetry Festival. While sharing ideas with local artists, he found out that international writers can apply to stay in Taiwan for a short period of time.

At the end of 2018, Panpipat received permission from the Taiwanese government to become a resident artist at the Treasure Hill Artist Village in Taipei, where he spent three months collecting material for "Birds on a Wire." Although the book is fictional, it offers a realistic depiction of the struggles a migrant worker faces after arriving in Taiwan.

Panpipat pointed out that Thais in Taiwan are like migrating birds. He said they make the tough decision to leave their homes to work in a foreign country in exchange for better lives for their families.

The novelist said he hopes "Birds on a Wire" will connect not just with Thai readers but people from all backgrounds. He said the book can serve as an inspiration to those who want to better understand the meaning of life, reported CNA.

A former poetry editor for Thailand's Khom Chat Luek daily newspaper, Panpipat has published more than 20 literary works, including "Reminiscence of the River" and "HEAT: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology." He was the winner of the 2004 Southeast Asian Writers Award, the 2014 Silpathorn Artist Award, and the 2017 Mekong River Literature Award.

Thai novelist depicts life of migrant workers in Taiwan in new book
"Birds on a Wire" depicts stories of migrant workers in Taiwan. (Facebook, Treasure Hill Artist Village photo)

Updated : 2020-12-04 04:55 GMT+08:00