Google
By Eli Meixler
May 15, 2018

Chote Praepan was a writer and columnist who despite his brief career left a lasting mark on 20th century Thai literature. Today, on what would have been his 111th birthday, Google honors the titan of Thai letters with a special Doodle.

Commonly known by his pen name “Yacob” (or “Jacob”), Chote Praepan was born into a poor family in 1907. Despite his humble beginnings, he would go on to become one of the most influential Thai writers of the 20th century, celebrated for his short stories, essays, and work as a newspaper editor.

A serialized sensation

Many of Yacob’s works were serialized in newspapers, allowing him to gain a substantial following of readers across the country who hungered every week for the next installment.

But it was his novel Phu Chana Sibthid (“The Man Who Gained Victory in Ten Directions”), an eight-volume epic of love and military conquest set in the 16th century Burmese royal court, that earned him lasting fame. The series was so popular that crowds of admiring fans would wait outside the publishing house when a new chapter was scheduled for release. The novel has since been adapted into numerous films, operas and TV series.

Yacob died of tuberculosis in 1956 at the age of just 48, but his work has been memorialized in the hearts of generations of Thai readers.

Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com.

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