Prabda Yoon

Prabda Yoon, born in 1973 in Bangkok, lived in the USA from ages fourteen to twenty-six, attended high school at the Cambridge School of Weston, Massachusetts, and studied at the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan for two years as well as graphic design at the Cooper Union for four years. In 1998, he returned to Thailand to perform his military service.

As a writer, he débuted to much success in the year 2000 with »Muang Moom Shak« (tr: City of Right Angles), a collection of five stories about New York, followed by the story collection »Kwam Na Ja Pen« (2000; tr: Probability), which won the 2002 S.E.A. Write Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Thailand. »The Sad Part Was« (2017) is the first publication of Prabda’s short stories in English translation. In these witty, highly literary stories, Yoon riffs on pop culture, experiments with punctuation, and uses elements of science fiction. The texts reflect life in Bangkok and explore the partly hilarious contradictions between modernity and the traditional Thai views on gender relations, family, and working life. »The stories that form Prabda Yoon’s mind-bending and strangely melancholic universe are unfailingly provocative… Playful, coolly surrealist…« (»Financial Times«) The collection was awarded the Southeast Asian Write Award and named by the »Guardian« as a »Book to Look Out For in 2017«. The translation won the PEN Translates! prize. In 2018, he published »Moving Parts«, his second collection in English translation.

In addition to English, Yoon’s books have been translated to Japanese. In 2004, he founded the independent publishing house Typhoon Studio. His first feature film, »Motel Mist«, which he both wrote and directed, was selected for the 2016 Rotterdam Film Festival. He also wrote two scripts for the Thai New Wave director, Pen-ek Ratanaruang: »Last Life in the Universe« (2003) and »Invisible Waves« (2006). Yoon has translated works by authors such as J. D. Salinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Anthony Burgess and Karel Čapek into Thai. His art pieces – paintings, drawings, and installations – have been exhibited in Thailand and Japan; he has also designed the covers of over one hundred books. Yoon also worked as a music producer with the bands Buahima and The Typhoon Band. The author lives in Bangkok.