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Miss Burma (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Miss Burma is the story of a family: a man, woman, and children. It is the story of their loves, pain, betrayals, secrets, but their stage is Burma from the 1940s to the 1960s, a country in upheaval, a country with a mix of ethnic minorities and the cruelties and hatred that seem to always come with such a mix. The best historical fiction gives us a view into the effects of history on ordinary people, and, in this case, shows us that people who survive the devious machinations of governments are anything but ordinary. Beautifully written, with characters you will dwell with for a long time, Miss Burma is one of my favorite books of the year.

— Linda

Description


A beautiful and poignant story of one family during the most violent and turbulent years of world history, Miss Burma is a powerful novel of love and war, colonialism and ethnicity, and the ties of blood.

Miss Burma tells the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louisa. 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.

About the Author


Charmaine Craig's first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages. Craig is a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside and the descendant of significant figures in Burma's modern history. A former actor in film and television, she studied literature at Harvard University and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780802127686
ISBN-10: 0802127681
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: March 20th, 2018
Pages: 368
Language: English