Nima  | Sarpang 

After writing snippets on Facebook for the last nine years, a teacher of a private school in Gelephu, Phurpa Dorji, published his first book earlier this month.

Titled ‘The Next Door Girl’, the book is a collection of three best stories he wrote on a Facebook group called the ‘Writers Association of Bhutan’.

He claimed his passion for writing and reading helped him write the book and the online community helped him reach more readers.

Phurpa Dorji said a group of online people supported him throughout his writing journey and helped him get his first book published. “Through Facebook, I met those people who share the same passion. I could meet readers who encouraged me to write more.”

He said he considers himself as a writer born out of Facebook Bhutanese literature groups and dedicates the book to all readers who inspired him to write more.

According to the author, he met everyone who worked for publications like editor, book cover designer, content designer, and his dedicated readers from the Facebook group who encouraged him to compile his writings into a book.

He writes on his Facebook page under the username PJikks Stories almost regularly and has written more than 20 stories. More than 3,100 people are following his page today.

Phurpa Dorji completed his Bachelors of civil engineering from the College of Science and Technology in Phuentsholing.

He said that it was difficult to get a book published in the country, considering the market and not many readers choose to read books written by Bhutanese authors. “Many authors don’t share the number of books sold. It might be because they don’t want to discourage the young writers. They just encourage us to publish.”

He said that many readers are now reading books written by Bhutanese authors. “They like reading the stories they can relate to and connect with.”

The Next Door Girl review.

The book is the compilation of three stories that were written based on the truth events. All three stories shares the situation facing youth and those living in the urban areas.

The first story is about a graduate who works as a babysitter while searching for the job. The story also shares a strong message on the need to have strong family especially with the children while living a busy urban life.

The second story the Next Door Girl is about a young office goers experiences with his tenants. While he knows everyone in the building well, the girl right next to his apartment remains unknown and stranger in the initial episodes.

As the story goes on, the bond and trust among the neighbours deepens. The story also highlights issues facing woman in urban areas with a fictional that could keep everyone thinking of a solution.

The third story: Loponla is about a young contract teacher who takes on a big task of changing the way students learn in school. The teacher wins the heart of students within short time but leaves the school making a big impact.

The author has tried to highlight the need to change the conventional set ups in school, like the need to focus on interest and skills of students in school through his story Loponla.

Edited by Tashi Dema