It is quite amazing how hard the subconscious works when it is made to understand that this life is not a rehearsal, there is no safety net and no assurance of any final closure. It is also quite appalling to realize how catatonic the imagination can become when we hedge our bets, opt for the safer direction at every fork in the path.
I think it is immensely difficult to get the U.S. interested in non-U.S. topics. I don't think this is because the average American reader is disinterested, but more because of publishers playing it safe: if a thriller based in L.A. is a sure winner, why spend money plugging one based in Paris - or Bangkok?
In Southeast Asia the world is understood to be a vast, complex network of interdependent relationships. So when global capitalism makes it impossible for small-time rice farmers to feed their families and make a living, it is a natural thing for anyone in the family who can find an alternative source of income to do so.