Adventure, politics, romance, culture and travel – these are just some of the ingredients of “Every Man Truly Lives Alone” – a historical novel penned by Curt Ayers, writing under his pen name, C. P. Tertius. Curt spoke about his novel at the December 30 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club.
The novel is set in South-East Asia between the Vietnam War and the tsunami of 26 December 2004. Like most historical fiction, the major events and some of the characters in the novel are real, while other characters and the dialogue are imagined. Some of the historical events depicted in the novel were moved in time or space.
Board member Richard Smith updates members on the activities of the Cross Culture Group, providing free English lessons to various Thai workers in Pattaya.
“Every Man” tells the story of a U.S. army captain and a Thai-Karen woman with whom he falls in love. It draws attention to the plight of stateless refugees, in particular the Karen hill tribe who live on the Thai-Burma border. (The novel is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. One reader on the Amazon website described the book as follows: “Very interesting narrative of an ex pat’s lonely journey in Asia. It captures a man’s insight, life and inner most feelings in an Asian culture.”)
Curt said that it took him two years to write the book, another year to find a publisher, Hellgate Press, and yet another year working with the editor assigned by the publisher. Curt said that the editor helped to sharpen the narrative, making it read less like a documentary and more like an action novel (which is what publishers are looking for). The editor wanted more dialogue, but Curt said this was challenging to do in a story that features Western characters who don’t speak the local languages.
A lively question &answer session followed Curt’s presentation. Many questions were asked about the refugees and the history of Burma, particularly around the time of the Second World War. Curt described a ring of different ethnic minorities along the borders between Burma and India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. He said that these ethnic groups have basically been at war with Burma for the last 40 years. Some of the resistance armies are financed by the drug trade. Curt said that if it weren’t for the presence of these armies, what happened in the killing fields of Cambodia might well have happened to the ethnic minorities of Burma.
Member David Meador reminds members to sign up for the upcoming trip to Laem Chabang & various manufacturing facilities there.
For people looking for more insights into the culture and history of South-East Asia, Curt recommended a book (“Burmese Days” by George Orwell, published in 1934) and two movies – “The Lady,” released in 2011, which is about Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris; and “Beyond Rangoon,” a 1995 film about an American tourist travelling in Burma during the 1988 uprising.
Curt Ayers is a former military officer, corporate executive and university professor, who is a semi-professional musician, blue-water sailor and adventure traveler. He has resided in South-East Asia for several years.
Concluding the meeting was Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg providing an update on upcoming events. He then called on Roy Albiston to conduct the Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular. For more information about the many activities of the Pattaya City Expats Club, visit their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.
US author Curt Ayers who, under his pen name C. P. Tertius, wrote “Every Man Truly Lives Alone;” a historical novel set in South East Asia in the period between the Vietnam War and the Tsunami of 2004.