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New York Times
Editors' Choice

“An honest, crystalline depiction of what urbanization has done to complicate and erode human life. Bangkok is the true star here, a modern city at the center of a tale as old as civilization itself. Every brightly lit kingdom has an underbelly.”

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Nikkei Asia

"Mai Nardone's brilliant fiction debut... set between 1980 and 2016, portrays the lives of a handful of recurring characters, and while anyone with a vague knowledge of Thailand will recognize the cultural tropes typically associated with the country, the world offered by Nardone, who is Thai American, is one that is largely hidden from outsiders."

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The Telegraph

"As each story cuts to the next, a new landscape opens, drawing us into a different phase of the prior character’s life, so that we can piece together more of who they are... Nardone’s book is not an easy read, but it’s beautifully written and affecting throughout."

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Asian Review of Books

"Thailand remains under-represented in English-language fiction, contemporary or otherwise; little has been translated and only a little more has been published by authors who can claim roots in the country. Mai Nardone is a Thai-American writer who, while represented in such mainstream publications as Granta, McSweeney’s and Ploughshares, was raised and lives in Bangkok: any debut would be welcomed; it helps that his is very good."

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Publishers Weekly

“In Nardone’s elegant debut collection, characters seek love, belonging, and a means of survival in Bangkok. With assured prose and an appreciation for the details of everyday life, the author evokes a city that is merciless, crowded, and alienating... Nardone’s knack for cataloging the many ways in which life can disappoint is a highlight of each of these nuanced entries. This author has talent to burn.”

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“The beauty here lies in the granular gradations of class and religious discrimination Nardone illuminates... Nardone expertly and realistically dramatizes the effects of poverty’s vice-like grip.”

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International Examiner

“Each story could be a novel, but being condensed and told from a different point-of-view, the themes gain strength in their positions next to each other. Welcome Me to the Kingdom may not be uplifting, but it is tough, realistic, and ambitious.”

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Spectrum Culture

Welcome Me to the Kingdom is a dazzling, intoxicating read, exciting and confusing in equal measure. Its abstraction sometimes hinders its potency and comprehension, but Nardone’s grip over his characters, his insightful dialogue and the glimpse he offers of a sensationalized Thailand make it impossible not to keep reading.”

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