|Dimensions||6 × 9 in|
Carrying forward the themes and spirit of his previous memoir, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, and his book of poems, In Thailand It Is Night, Ira Sukrungruang brings humor, insight, and lyricism to his new collection of personal essays, Southside Buddhist. Here he cruises Chicago streets, treks Southern Illinois forests, wrestles with his ever-expanding body, and contemplates the complexities of the Thai immigrant life. He finds solace with his imaginary friend, Buddha; causes mischief with the boys in his working-class neighborhood; battles depression and suicide; and marries “the whitest woman in the world,” who teaches him to appreciate a world blessed by the absence of concrete, skyscrapers, and noise. This book searches for the truth of his memories, the truth of himself—a very Buddhist notion—while navigating the tricky terrains of urban and rural life with increasing awareness of what it means to be an immigrant son.
Ira Sukrungruang received the American Book Award for his previous collection of essays published by the University of Tampa Press, Southside Buddhist. He is the author of the memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, and a collection of short stories, The Melting Season. He is also co-editor of two anthologies on the topic of obesity: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. His first collection of poetry, In Thailand It Is Night, won the Anita Claire Scharf Award and was published by the University of Tampa Press in 2013. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Florida. For more information about him, please visit: www.buddhistboy.com.