by Charmaine Craig
Editor: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
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Nominated for the National Book Award for FictionAn AmazonMiss Burma tells the modern story of Burma through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louise.After attending school in the city of Calcutta, Benny moved to Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and fell in love with Khin, a woman who was part of a long persecuted minority ethnic group, the Karen.The Second World War came from Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin had to go underground in the eastern part of the country during the Japanese Occupation, the beginning of a journey that would lead them to change the history of the country.After the war, the British authorities make a pact with the Burman nationalists, led by Aung San, whose party takes control of the country.When Aung San is assassinated, his successor ignores the means for self-government of the Karen people and other ethnic groups, in sets of what will become the longest civil war in recorded history.Benny and Khin’s eldest child, Louisa, filled with danger, tempestuous of childhood and reached importance such as Burma, the first beauty queen shortly before the country was in dictatorship.As Louisa sails to her new fame, she is forced to reckon with her family past, the West continues the occult transactions in her country, and of her own fidelity to the Karen people’s cause.Based on the story of the author’s mother’s mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is a captivating portrait of Burma’s modern way came to be and ordinary people swept away in the struggle for self-determination and freedom.
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