Miss Burma (Hardback)Charmaine Craig (author)
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Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018
After attending school in Calcutta, Benny settles in Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and falls in love with Khin, a woman who is part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group, the Karen.
World War II comes to Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin must go into hiding in the eastern part of the country during the Japanese Occupation, beginning a journey that will lead them to change the country's history.
After the war, the British authorities make a deal with the Burman nationalists, led by Aung San, whose party gains control of the country. When Aung San is assassinated, his successor ignores the pleas for self-government of the Karen people and other ethnic groups, and in doing so sets off what will become the longest-running civil war in recorded history.
Benny and Khin's eldest child, Louisa, has a danger-filled, tempestuous childhood and reaches prominence as Burma's first beauty queen soon before the country falls to dictatorship.
As Louisa navigates her newfound fame, she is forced to reckon with her family's past, the West's ongoing covert dealings in her country and her own loyalty to the cause of the Karen people.
Based on the story of the author's mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is a captivating portrait of how modern Burma came to be and of the ordinary people swept up in the struggle for self-determination and freedom.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 34 mm
'Charmaine Craig wields powerful and vivid prose to illuminate a country and a family trapped not only by war and revolution, but also by desire and loss. Both epic and intimate, Miss Burma is a compelling and disturbing trip through Burmese history and politics.' - Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
'Miss Burma serves as a much needed recalibration of history, one that redresses the narrative imbalance by placing other ethnic, non-Burmese points of view at the center of its story... By resurrecting voices that are seldom heard on a wider stage, Craig's novel... brings one of Burma's many lost histories to vivid life.' - New York Times Book Review
'Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity - not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women.' - Elle
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