Hard Bones is a memoir that I wrote about my attempts to heal from childhood trauma as a working class person in late capitalism. I tell the story of how I got into Thai boxing at the beginning of the Trump presidency and eventually ended up in Thailand just as the borders were closing due to Covid in March 2020. It is heavy on narrative, but also veers into journalism as I follow Thailand’s public health response to Covid and the rise of the pro-democracy movement there. It begins with an essay about meritocracy, that mythological idea that keeps us fearfully in an endless cycle of competition and self-optimization. I wrote Hard Bones in October 2020 when I returned to the US, and edited it in November 2020 before putting it up on Amazon and printing about 100 copies for sale. I had thought about editing it and pitching it to publishers, but after two years I’ve realized that it is an artifact that needs to exist as-is, with all of its typos and anger. It is my declaration that I am a writer; a jumping point from which I am giving myself full freedom to write the things that rip people apart inside.

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Timing, Trauma, and Taylor Swift: 5 questions for the Author of Hard Bones

For more background on Thai politics and the pro-democracy movement in English:

History of the Thai Pro-Democracy Movement by Madelyn Mae (Heather Squire)

Uglytruth-Thailand: English language blog by exiled Thai Scholar, Giles Ji Ungpakorn

Prachatai English: independent and investigative journalism out of Thailand. Excellent coverage of the pro-democracy movement.

(book) Thailand’s Crisis and the Fight for Democracy by Giles Ji Ungpakorn

(book) Radical Thought, Thai Mind: A History of Revolutionary Ideology in a Traditional Society by Yuangrat and Paul Wedel

(Twitter) United Front of Thammasat

(Twitter) FreeYOUTH