Rereading “The Sheikh”

Thai Novel The Sheikh and The Golem and the Jinni

Welcome to the 121 days since the shelter in place order and since I’ve been working from home! I hope everyone is doing okay out there. As for our little household, we’re doing okay.

But as you know, for some of us creative type, being stuck at home is driving us slowly mad. As the quote from Where’d You Go Bernadette goes:

“People like you must create. If you don’t create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.” – Maria Semple, “Where’d you go, Bernadette?”


So, I’ve sewn masks for donation. I’ve cleaned out the garage. (Also because we had “little visitors” apparently.) I’ve gotten more indoor and outdoor plants. I’ve started a weekly Instagram Live show on Mondays at 8 p.m. PST called “OakMonster’s Drunken Half-assed Talent Show” where I get tipsy, sing poorly, and bring in musically-inclined friends to share their talent.

And now I’ve taken up doing a recap of one of my favorite Thai novels growing up, “The Sheikh” by Prapassorn Sevikul, for my friends on Facebook.

This came about because I just finished reading “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker. All that talk about the Jinni, trapped in human form as a tall and handsome Bedouin man got me thinking about The Sheikh’s lead character who grows up to be a tall and handsome Bedouin man. I’ve always wanted to translate Sevikul’s work, this and the classic coming-of-age novel “Time in a Bottle”, to share with the world.

“The Golem and the Jinni” prompts me to reread one of my favorite Thai novel “The Sheikh”.

Well, I’m not quite up to actually translating it word for word. So, I’m just recapping in my own word with commentary, insights, and some cultural references. Not so much to the Bedouin culture but of Thai culture reflected in this historical drama.

And THEN I thought, hell, I might as well share it here too. It’ll be like when I take on challenges and record it like when I tried to eat like a Hobbit for a month or casually cosplay every day in November.

ETA: January 11, 2021: I did do the chapter-by-chapter recap of it on my private Facebook account, and I started to post them here. But about halfway through, I realized how problematic the novel was, so I stopped posting them on the blog.

I mean, for its time period, sure, but it also a reflection of Thailand’s deep-seated rape culture in our literature which you can read more about here. And by the time I got to the end, now as a 43-year-old woman versus a 15-year-old girl, the whole politics and how the whole book just ended was like…okay what the hell? If I had read it now, this book would be up there with those books I’d burn after reading because I was pissed. So, I decided NOT to continue posting on the blog.

Trust me. You didn’t miss much. LOL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.