Lapcharoensap, Rattawut. SIGHTSEEING. New York City, NY: Grove Press, 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 250 pages. Fine/Fine.

Collection of short stories. One of the most important literary debuts of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Rattawut Lapcharoensap's (ironically titled) first book. "Set in contemporary Thailand, these are generous, radiant tales of family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts, and cultural shiftings beneath the glossy surface of a warm, Edenic setting. Written with exceptional acuity, grace, and sophistication, the stories present a nation far removed from its exoticized stereotypes. In the prize-winning story 'Farangs', the son of a beachside motel owner commits the cardinal sin of falling for a pretty American tourist. In the novella, 'Cockfighter', a young girl witnesses her proud father's valiant but foolhardy battle against a local delinquent whose family has a vicious stranglehold on the villagers. Through his vivid assemblage of parents and children, natives and transients, ardent lovers and sworn enemies, Lapcharoensap dares us to look with new eyes at the circumstances that shape our views and the prejudices that form our blind spots. An extraordinary reading experience, one that powerfully reveals that when it comes to how we respond to pain, anger, hurt, and love, no place is too far from home" (Publisher's blurb). Rattawut is misleadingly described as a Thai-American, which suggests he is an immigrant, when in fact he was born in America, which makes him an American (of Thai ethnicity). In that sense, he is really writing about America, not Thailand. Tourist/sightseers are not restricted as such to a foreign land, and it is entirely possible to be a foreigner in one's own homeland. An absolute "must-have" title for Rattawut Lapcharoensap and contemporary literature collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Rattawut Lapcharoensap. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant living American writers. A fine copy. . ISBN 0802117880. $40.00

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