My letter to the editor in the Nation Newspaper in Bangkok was published yesterday! I've been in touch with the co-author of the book Bangkok Inside Out, Guy Sherett. I met him once a few years ago in Bangkok through a mutual friend, but never stayed in contact. I did remember him when my husband bought me that book and I recognized his name and picture. Anyway, this book has since been banned from sale in Thailand by the Ministry of Culture. I wrote to Guy my support for his endeavors to get his book back on the shelves and he then encouraged me to write to the editors of several newspapers in Thailand, so I did. And he just informed me this morning that my letter was published in one of them. Here's the link, scroll down about half way and below my letter is another letter of support. Here's the link to the original letter written about this issue. Below is the text of my letter if you don't wish to link.
What are the culture police so scared of, really?
Re: “An open letter to Culture Minister Uraiwan Thienthong on a provocative book”, Letters, December 19.
I’ve lived in Bangkok for four years and had the opportunity to meet Guy Sharett, co-author of the book “Bangkok Inside Out”. Sharett is an articulate, respectful person and his book speaks the truth about Bangkok, in all its funny, sad, beautiful and ugly ways. But none of the subjects were written with disrespect. My Thai husband was the person who actually bought this book for me and he really enjoyed it. I’m saddened that the Ministry of Culture is banning this book because I feel it truly enriches the Bangkok experience for tourists, expatriate workers, and the Thai people who get a foreigner’s perspective. Please encourage the Ministry of Culture to reverse its decision and allow the sale of “Bangkok Inside Out” in bookstores again.