a man in saffron robes

by maitree limpichart

Maitree Limpichart's memoir of life as a Buddhist monk at a hilltop temple in northern Thailand is now available in translation as a paperback and an eBook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Distribution to retail bookstores, academic institutions and libraries worldwide is available through the Ingram and Baker & Taylor catalogs.

If you have visited or lived in Thailand you will find sketches of life, characters and events that will no doubt trigger more than a recollection or two. Those who have no or only a passing acquaintance will find stories that are accessible, engaging, sometimes humorous, always curious and illuminating. Enjoy it for the humor, the poignancy, the exotic and wondrous setting, and for the likeable and interesting characters one meets along the way.

read what others are saying

"remarkably candid; a deeply fascinating account of thailand and buddhism . . . An intimate look into the unique experience of entering the Buddhist monkhood in Thailand . . . Limpichart’s memoir documents his early preparation and ordination, along with his time spent at the temple of Wat Prathat Doi Kong Mu, located not far from [Burma] the country now widely called Myanmar . . . remarkable photos of Limpichart’s ordination help illustrate a ceremony few have experienced firsthand . . . Landau’s translation is approachable, never sacrificing the author’s subdued wit or thoughtful knack for descriptions.”

Kirkus Review

“The Thai language reflects a culture that in its traditional aspects is exotic relative to what is familiar to English speakers whose cultural idiom has been shaped by the surroundings and values of modern global society. Stephen Landau has done an excellent job of rendering Maitree Limpichart’s account of his time as a Buddhist monk into informal, easily accessible English that reflects well Maitree’s original Thai version of his story. As such, Landau gives the English reader who may know little or nothing of the Thai language and the central role of Theravada Buddhism in Thai culture a genuine feel for Maitree’s experiences and observations while a member of Thailand’s Buddhist sangha.”

— Victor L. Tomseth
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Service Officer, retired
U.S. Ambassador to Laos
Deputy Chief of mission, U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
Dir., Dept. of State Office of Thailand and Burma Affairs

“This book is a rare account in English of one man's experience living as a traditional Thai Buddhist monk. It is different from many other Thai hagiographical accounts of the lives and works of monks and valuable to scholars in Religious Studies, Anthropology, and all those interested in modern Buddhism.”

 — Dr. Justin Thomas McDaniel
Professor of Buddhist Studies
Chair of the Department of Religious Studies
University of Pennsylvania

"I’m sitting here at my desk staring down at the cover of A Man in Saffron Robes! This is an insightful and very well written piece of research and translation. So much of the book delves deeply and with feeling into a sense of Buddhism I’ve never experienced before. Simply an amazing job.”

— Burgess Needle, Poet
Thai Comic Books: Poems from my Life in Thailand
with the Peace Corps: 1967-1969

"Maitree has a keen eye, and his description of his fellow monks, the temple environment and his daily routine in the Sangha, not to mention the remote backdrop and stunning scenery of Mae Hong Son makes for a number of interesting, if brief, storylines . . . Stephen Landau's translation turns Maitree's narrative into an easy and comprehensible read . . . For those considering their routine lives on the treadmill of urban life, this lovely little book certainly provides plenty to contemplate."

— Paul Bromberg
Journal of the Siam Society
Vol. 103, 2015

"What a rare and interesting book? So full of life and unusual experiences and insights. I can see me reading it again and again and finding new depths every time."

— A Reader's Review