Terrible tragedy in Thailand - R.I.P Salisa!

Chalida, Salisa's first published book in 2002

Yesterday morning I was shocked when reading the news. 

The Nation, one of the main daily newspapers in Thailand, reported about the death of Salisa Phruttitum, a former reporter of this newspaper. 

The Nation link.

I met Salisa last year during my stay in Bangkok. She was a writer and published a fascinating novel "Chalida: A Thai Family Drama" in 2002.

The book deals the life of a young woman. Chalida was born into one of Thailand's well-known and respected families. Her grandfather was a former Prime Minister of Thailand.

She was shy and timid, grew up well protected in her family, in the world of  Thailand's High Society. 

Even the death of her mother, bound the family stronger together and  thereby they retained her mother's care and love and tried to surrogate as good as possible. She was convicted, this is the real world, how it is.

Years later, she realized that the people's thinking about her family is  different to her sight of the reality. Obviously wasn't everything in the past as she knew. 

Chalida received that people blamed her grandfather for the death of democracy activists in street demonstrations years earlier. It seemed, that the family and the High Society kept the mantle of secrecy over the massacre.

She began thinking about her life and found herself in an unreal world of doing everything for appearances. She wasn't that important for the family. No, the reputation of the family was more important than anything else. Even more important as herself or her mother. Disgrace and guilt haunted already her mother to limits and finally into death. 

And Chalida found the cornerstone for existence of everything in "her unreal world".... There is only one solution for her....

Even when this book is only fiction, it covers the manner and dictate in Thailand's society "never loose your face" and is built with historical elements of the pro-democracy demonstrations in the 1970's.

When I met Salisa in Bangkok, we talked about her life and work. She had big plans for this year and she was already working on her second book. It should deal with Thailand's society again. She was writting about the the immense gap between the rich and the poor people in Thailand. 

She would publish the book in 2013. I was so curious about her new novella,  because she grew up in the USA and is only one of a few Thai writers who are able to write and publish in English language.

Thailand and their citizens aren't easy to understand sometimes. And not only because of the cryptic looking letters. That's why I like having conversations with Thai's which grown up abroad. They're having a more "neutral" view about things going on in their country. They understand their mother language and they had the full insight into their society. 

But they also keep a distance on the life and things happen in Thailand. It is always different than talking with Thai's which grown up in Thailand.

What a shame, Salisa can't give us further insights into Thailand's society.

I miss you, Salisa! R-I-P

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