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Claudio Sopranzetti and Sara Fabbri

Feb 24, 2022

King of Bangkok

University of Toronto Press 2021

Bangkok, as Thailand’s largest and most economically-important cities, attracts migrants from all over the country. Drawn to its economic opportunities, migrants eke a living working in informal jobs, with few protections–yet they build a community among their fellow migrants and workers.

The King of Bangkok (University of Toronto Press: 2021), written by Claudio Sopranzetti, illustrated by Sara Fabbri and translated from its original Italian by Chiara Natalucci, tells the story of one such migrant: Nok, who lives through economic upheaval, protest movements and military crackdowns, in a story based on years of research.

Claudio Sopranzetti is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Central European University. He is the author of Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility, and Politics in Bangkok (University of California Press: 2017), winner of the 2019 Margaret Mead Award.

Sara Fabbri is an illustrator and editorial designer, currently working as Art Director for Linus, an Italian comics magazine.

Claudio and Sara join us to talk about The King of Bangkok, where they cover Nok’s story, and what it tells us about Thailand, Bangkok, and the country’s urban-rural divide. They also talk about the process of making the book itself: a graphic novel, based on a decade of anthropological research.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The King of Bangkok. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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Nicholas Gordon

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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