Southside Buddhist

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.

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Dimensions 6 × 9 in


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