Sarah Mullins, an American woman, arrives at the Kingdom: a fading luxury apartment complex in Bangkok. She is there to lay low, after passing over forged collectors’ items in Hong Kong. She meets the other residents of the Kingdom, including the energetic, yet mysterious Mali. This starts an unfolding story set amidst the fictional backdrop of growing protests, as both the Kingdom’s expatriate tenants and the local Thai staff evaluate what will happen next.
Novelist Lawrence Osborne tells this story in his new novel The Glass Kingdom (Hogarth, 2020). In this interview, we discuss his novel, the flawed nature of his characters, and how the choice of a Bangkok apartment complex in a fictional period of Thai social unrest has some uncanny similarities to our present day. We also talk about his research process when it comes to writing a new book.
Lawrence is a writer and novelist, currently residing in Bangkok, whose works like The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player and Hunters in the Dark were published to rave reviews and featured on numerous “best-of” lists.
Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.