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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 1, 2005

Lapcharoensap Tours Thailand On WSUI Feb. 14

Rattawut Lapcharoensap will read from "Sightseeing," a collection of short stories about Thailand, at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

A starred preview in Publishers Weekly stated, "The Thailand of Westerners' dreams shares space with a Thailand plagued by social and economic inequality in this auspicious debut collection of seven plaintive and luminous stories. . . . Young or old, male or female, all of Lapcharoensap's spirited narrators are engaging and credible. Anger, humor and longing are neatly balanced in these richly nuanced, sharply revelatory tales."

In a Booklist starred review, critic Donna Seaman wrote, "Even the title of this debut short story collection by a young Thai American writer resonates on many wavelengths as Lapcharoensap considers the significance of seeing and being seen, of tourism and exile. Superbly well paced, nimble, vividly descriptive in their depictions of everything from the pollution-enhanced sunsets of Bangkok to body language, and many faceted in their dramatizations of fractured families, unheralded comings-of-age, and class and cultural conflicts, these tales of modern Thailand are fresh and captivating, funny and sad, and exceptionally astute. . . . In each intriguing, ironic, and empathic story, Lapcharoensap tracks the unintended consequences of globalization and our strivings for self, survival, and love."

Born in Chicago, Lapcharoensap grew up mostly in Bangkok. He was educated at Triamudomsuksa Pattanakarn high school in Bangkok, Cornell University and the University of Michigan, where he received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. His stories have appeared in Granta, Zoetrope and Glimmer Train, as well as the "Best New American Voices" series.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,