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Venom

Venom

Author(s): Saneh Sangsuk, Mui Poopoksakul (translator)

Location(s): Thailand

Genre(s): Novella

Era(s): Contemporary

The village of Praeknamdang, nestled in the Thai jungle, has fallen under the spell of Song Waad, the self-proclaimed medium of The Sacred Mother. Living in fear of his connection to the Patron goddess, the villagers offer up land and wealth to the religious leader, who grows more corrupt by the day. Only one family dares to resist his growing power: a couple and their talented ten-year-old son. Devoted to his family and his oxen, the boy has ambitions to become a master puppeteer, and dreams of a life beyond the village – despite his disability of permanently damaged arm, after falling from a tree. But, this life and this future, is threatened when the boy is suddenly attacked by a cobra. He becomes locked in a life-and-death struggle in which the border between the human and the animal disintegrates. Did the boy simply stray too near to a burrow, or is The Sacred Mother punishing his rebellion against Song Waad’s authority? A short, gripping existential parable, Venom introduces the UK reader to the world of Saneh Sangsuk; lush, raw, lyrical and vivid, this is storytelling at its finest.

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