Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Real Alaska - New Book You Probably Won't See In Your Local Bookstore

Image from email from Thanachart
Unless you live in Thailand.  But maybe we can convince a few Anchorage stores to stock it.

Thanachart (Benz)    Siripatrachai first came to Alaska last December (2013) along with his award winning short documentary The Words I Love.  He's a Thai who was finishing film school
in New York City and he stayed with us a few of the days he was in Anchorage.  Here's my post including a video where he declares his love of Alaska.

Then in April 2014 he sent me a copy of his book New York First Time and a link to a video he'd made to promote the book.  It had, at the time over two million hits!  The book went to the top of the Thai best seller list.

Later he sent me another email saying he was coming back to Alaska because his publisher wanted him to do a book on Alaska, because, he said, there aren't many in Thai.  So he was back in Alaska this summer and we got to see him again for a couple of the days he was here. 

So, now the Alaska book is out.  If it's anything like the New York book, it will have lots of photos, chapter titles and headings in English, and the main text will be in Thai.  It will be humorous and the language will be a little spicy.

He said he'll send me a copy when he gets back to New York from Thailand where he's promoting the book at the National Book Fair in Bangkok.

Image from email from Thanachart
I'm going to try to convince him that some of the books should be on sale in Alaska.  I'm sure some people would buy it, even if they can't read it all.  And there's a sizable Thai-Lao community here who can read it.

This page shows the monk at the Thai Buddhist temple on D St just north of Fireweed.  They have lots of Thai readers and I'm sure this is one of the first books to cover their temple.  The money tree in the picture is covered with donations from many different countries.  (Benz didn't get to the temple last December, but I made sure he got there on his summer trip.)

Below is a picture Benz sent me of him signing his books at the Thai Book Fair.  He's sitting in the center in the dark blue shirt.

Image from email from Thanachart

His video for the New York 1st Time book made him something of a celebrity in Thailand, so I suspect this book on Alaska will get a lot more attention than such a book normally would.  I'm pretty sure the title is tongue-in-cheek, but we may see an uptick in Thai visitors to Alaska.

And none of this would have happened without the Anchorage International Film Festival (which will be Dec. 5-14 this year) which got Benz to Alaska for the first time. 

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