Year published :2012

Pages :192 pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

Rights :World

ISBN: 9786162150500

Bangkok Bound

by Ellen Boccuzzi

With the acceleration of global migration, literature by migrant writers has emerged as a powerful medium for describing the ways in which global forces are experienced at the personal level. Migrant literature offers a compelling counter‐narrative to abstract visions of globalization, grounding large‐scale processes in real‐life stories of individuals.

In Thailand, migrant writers have documented the social and cultural impacts of fifty years of rural‐urban migration through hundreds of stories, poems, and novels. Bangkok Bound is the first book to examine this body of literature and the messages that Thai migrant writers convey about their experiences. These stories powerfully describe the ways in which migrants who leave their homes bound for Bangkok are quickly bound to Bangkok through the transformative force of modern city life. And they show the ways in which those who remain behind in the village are transformed, too, as they struggle to maintain a rural way of life in a rapidly urbanizing world.

Bangkok Bound will be of interest to anyone working on migration or urbanization, as well as to scholars of Thailand and Thai literature. Specialists in migration will find it a welcome addition to the growing field of migration studies through examination of narrative fiction.

What others are saying

“This is an engaging and authoritative study of literary representations of migration from the provinces to Bangkok based on wide reading of short stories written over the last four decades and interviews with major writers and critics. It will be of interest not only to students of literature, but also to anyone interested in social change in Thailand in the late twentieth century and the way that it has been perceived and recorded by local writers.”—David Smyth, SOAS, University of London


  • Useful for an introductory course on Thai or Southeast Asian studies; offers a springboard for conversations on development, rural‐urban inequality, migration, and the impacts of rapid urbanization in Asia

  • First book to examine the theme of migration in Thai literature, a significant contemporary genre

  • Contributes to the growing field of migration studies through examination of narrative fiction
Provides a window into how migration and urbanization are experienced at the personal level
 of interest to migration scholars as well as scholars of Thailand, Thai cultural studies, and Thai literature

About the Author

Ellen Boccuzzi is a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. She specializes in migration, urbanization, and international development, and has worked with UN agencies, non‐governmental organizations, and universities in Thailand and the United States. She holds a PhD in South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Related files

  • Information Sheet (Adobe PDF, 545 KB)
  • Reviewed by Martin Platt (Adobe PDF, 115 KB)
  • Reviewed by Susan F. Kepner (Adobe PDF, 61 KB)


Thailand | migration | internal migration | rural‐urban migration | Thai literature | migration literature

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