Year published :1996

Pages :204 pp.

Size :13x19.7 cm.

ISBN: 9789747100679

Many Lives

by M.R. Kukrit Pramoj

Translated by Meredith Borthwick

"That night, the rain poured and wind howled, raindrops crashing like solid objects onto the ground and water. A passenger boat from Ban Phaen to Bangkok, packed with people, pressed on through the current amidst the rising clamour of the rain and strom..." The boat capsizes in the torrent, and washed up on the shore the next morning are the sodden bodies of the many passengers who lost their lives.


Thus begins M.R. Kukrit Pramoj's modern classic set in the Thailand of the early 1950s. The life of each passenger who perished is retraced from birth, revealing a complex web of experiences and emotions. Could their past actions have brought them to this karmic end?, the writer asks. Was death a retribution, a fulfillment, a reward, and escape, or merely the end to a long life?

"... and illuminating commentary on Thai society and its values, the pressures of change and the universality of human folly." –Meredith Borthwick


About the author

M.R. Kukrit Pramoj (1911–1995), born in Thailand and educated at Queen's College, Oxford, was a true renaissance man -not only a writer of renown, but also a politician and former prime minister, elder statesman, intellectual, journalst, and classical dancer. He wrote  more than twenty books, including the well-known historical novel, Four Reigns (Si Phaendin).

Meredith Borthwick (1945–1995) an Australian Asian Studies scholar, grew up in Thailand and was an alumnus of Satit Prathumwan Secondary School, Bangkok. She later returned to Thailand with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her tragically early death cut short a career devoted to building bonds of culture and friendship between Asia and Australia.