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Chiang Mai Citylife > Articles > Native Herb, a book by Chiang Mai-based writer Antonin Cee

Native Herb, a book by Chiang Mai-based writer Antonin Cee

The universally accepted but sometimes questionable conceit that ‘travel broadens the mind’ will always be trumped by the experience of actually living, competing and surviving in a foreign country. Although it is easy to assume that all the peoples on this planet share the same basic emotions, desires and impulses, it is chastening to realise that there is no automatic equivalence between them. People are different and in his entertaining and sincerely written book Native Herb and other stories from Thailand Antonin Cee exemplifies this salient truism to perfection.

For many, it will undoubtedly come as an immersion in not so often highlighted aspects of life in Thailand. In five enthralling novellas, this book delves deep into the true nature of this often-idealised country. Apparently unhampered by foreign bias, Dutch-born Antonin Cee, who has lived in Thailand for 35 years, depicts his Thai and expat characters as you would meet them in real life, which is an achievement in itself.

This is what some critics said about this book:

‘A captivating collection of stories, written with great verve and enthusiasm, in which Antonin Cee looks behind the popular image of Thailand as a placid ‘Land of Smiles’ to provide an insider’s view of the country, revealing a complex society riven by injustices, corruption, jealousy and just about every other human emotion’. Dr Alfons van der Kraan, author of Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth- Century Cambodia and Honorary fellow, University of New England, Australia.

‘Unlike the budget anthropologist, Antonin Cee as a ‘sleeper’ in Thai culture for most of his life, has afforded, documented and communicated nuances of this society that I never dreamed existed.” Hans Geleijnse, editor at Trefpunt Thailand, the Netherlands.

‘’Should the reader wish to discover what lurks below the surface of Thai culture, allow the diligence of this fine writer to usher you into a world you think you knew but realize is far deeper beyond the veneer of its exposition.” Marie-Noel Arras, editor in chief at Chevre Feuille Etoile, Paris, France.

Native Herb can be found on