Dr Janit Feangfu1
1Australian National University, Canberra ACT , Australia
This paper explores the centrality of food and a journey as a critique of Thailand’s socio-economic disparity in the novel Nerathet (Exile) (2014) by a Northeastern (“Isan”) author with the nom de plume of Phu Kradat. The novel portrays the journey home of an Isan migrant worker, his family and the ghost of his wife. It interweaves a long history of unequal power relations in Thailand, multiple coups d’état, inefficient national public transportation and the capitalist food system. Regional food and the lack of it as well as appetite and hunger as a result of traveling figure forth the interconnectedness between the characters and their environment.
Janit Feangfu has recently joined the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, Canberra. She has worked on Thai literature during the Cold War Era, gender issues in Thai literature and food politics in new Isan writing. Her research interests include food memoirs, food in literature, gender issues and new Isan writing.