Boonlua Debyasuvarn was born into a noble Siamese family in 1911 and not only witnessed, but participated in, the great events of her century. She was talented, intelligent, and determined to make her own place in the world beyond Thewet Palace, her family home.
After the 1932 overthrow of the absolute monarchy, M.L. Boonlua became one of the first Thai women to earn a university degree. As an official in the Ministry of Education, she worked tirelessly to improve education within the kingdom and represent Thailand at international education conferences. She was a greatly respected teacher of literature and was much cherished for her charm, wit, and eminently quotable remarks. Her essays on literature became the foundation of modern Thai literary criticism and her novels are now recognized as unique social histories of the times in which she lived.
Lucid and sensitive, this engaging biography documents Boonlua’s life within the context of her society and the enormous changes her country was going through in her lifetime.
SUSAN FULOP KEPNER is the author of The Lioness in Bloom: Modern Thai Fiction about Women and many essays on Thai literature and culture. She has translated two prize-winning Thai novels, Letters from Thailand and A Child of the Northeast, as well as short stories and poems. Dr. Kepner taught courses in Southeast Asian Literatures and Cultures and Thai language for many years at the University of California, Berkeley. She continues to live and to write in Berkeley.