A journey into the labyrinth of the Thai past, following spectres and vanished landmarks across present day Bangkok.
Chariot of the Sun relates the story of Siam to that of the author’s family, the Bunnags; who came from Persia in the early 17th century and through daring, cunning and good fortune were to hold commanding positions of power during the 19th century.
Shane Bunnag follows the narrative thread of an ancient prophecy, a taboo subject that has long haunted Bangkok, in his exploration of the past.
Rather than a straightforward historical account, Chariot of the Sun is a genre-bending time-warp that pulls us into a compelling family drama, intertwining a candid and humorous diary with ancient chronicles ripe with violence, mythology, folklore and intrigue.
The book becomes an excavation of submerged histories, an investigation into the nature of national identity, and offers a uniquely lyrical approach to storytelling that is both historically nuanced and emotionally stirring.
“Chariot of the Sun is a rich and deeply personal telling of a Siamese family’s history through ‘a labyrinth of memory’. Part history and part memoir, it is story-telling that revels in the fragmentary and the anecdotal. A beautifully written account that skillfully weaves stories of renewal, reinvention and continuity.”
~ Nic Dunlop, author of The Lost Executioner-The story of Comrade Duch and the Khmer Rouge
“Shane Bunnag’s artful merging of text and photographs creates an alternative history of Thailand laced with nostalgia and laden with stories – an evocative, dream-like foray into the past that is both enchanting and enlightening.”
~ Emma Larkin, author of Finding George Orwell in Burma
“Chariot of the Sun is a literary work that transcends national and personal narratives. Shane has created an original and poetic story, underscored with a sense of disquiet.”
~ Veeraporn Nitiprapha, author of The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth