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To learn more, Burma Lifeline recommends the following books:
Secret Histories, Finding George Orwell in a Burmese Teashop
2004, ISBN 0719556996
The Orwellian scholar and author’s real name is not Emma Larkin. She uses the pseudonym to protect her identity. Larkin tells how George Orwell predicted in his book “1984” a place which IS today’s Burma. In her travels, the author has witnessed how the brutal Burmese generals have turned the land which Orwell loved into a place where truth is a dangerous commodity.
From The Land of Green Ghosts
Pascal Khoo Thwe
2003, ISBN: 0060505230
Beautifully written with elegance and sensitivity. The author describes his incredible escape from Burma to Thailand and then to Cambridge University. A member of the Padaung people (known for their “giraffe women”), the author now lives in England and supports Burma’s democracy movement.
The Trouser People
2003, ISBN: 1582432422
Marshal, a gifted British writer, retraces the steps of Sir George Scott who explored Burma for the British Empire in the 19th century. Special attention is given to the many hill tribes and how they fare under the present military regime.
Beyond The Last Village
2003, ISBN: 1559638001
The author, a biologist, explores the Himalayan rainforest of Burma, its species and its people. This non-political account deals mostly with the author’s search for wildlife in the remote parts of the Northern Kachin State of Burma.
The Iron Road,
2002, ISBN: 0865476373
The 29-year old author spent almost five years in grim Burmese prisons because of his stand for truth and democracy in Burma. He describes how he was tortured, interrogated, released and jailed again. This is the story of a young hero who furthered the cause of justice through sheer will and determination.
Burma, Something Went Wrong, The photography of Chan Chao
2000, ISBN: 0935445188
This is an unusual collection of photographs depicting refugees on the Thai-Burma border who are taking part in an armed struggle in order to regain democracy for Burma. This book also contains an important epilogue by Amitav Ghosh
Whispers at the Pagoda
1999, Orchid Press, Bangkok ISBN 9748304361
Remarkable stories about ordinary people who live in Burma; this contrasts with the “public face” of the country promoted by the military rulers. The short chapters in this book allow glimpses of traditional life and colorful people as well as of the darker side of living under the present government and its abysmal human rights record.
1998, Faber & Faber, ISBN 0571199445
A full account of the heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi whose struggle against the military is inspiring and legendary. She is “the hope” of 50 million people whoinhabit what is known as Burma.
The Voice of Hope: Aung San Suu Kyi
1997, ISBN: 1888363509
Aung San Suu Kyi, the international symbol of struggle against repression emerges here as a human being, an all-around moral compass The author brings us into the present with Burma’s tragic situation through the person of Aung San Suu Kyi and her incredible life.
Freedom from Fear
Aung San Suu Kyi
1996, Penguin Books, ISBN 0140253173
Writings by Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, before her incarceration by the Burmese military whom she soundly defeated at the poles. This book was edited by her late husband who died in 1999 without seeing her again.
2001, White Lotus, Bangkok, ISBN: 0756750571
A well researched account of the revolt in 1988 by millions of Burmese against the military rule. The year before Tiananmen Square appr. 10,000 peaceful demonstrators were mowed down in Burma by their own military.
Burma in Revolt
1994.Westview Press. ISBN 0813323444
This book is the product of 13 years of painstaking research, interviews and personal experience. It is the most authoritative book ever written on politics in Burma, including drugs and insurgencies.
Twilight over Burma
1994, University of Hawaii Press ISBN 0824816285
“A gripping tale from beginning to end …. A touching memoir that would read like a fairy tale were it not for the unfortunate ending.” – Booklist. This is the story of great happiness destroyed by evil, the overthrow of one of Burma’s most respected local leaders, and one woman’s determination and bravery against a ruthless military regime.(UofH)
The Piano Tuner
2002,Vintage Book, ISBN 0-375-41465-7.
Fiction with historical and geographical accuracy of the Shan States of Burma. The author studied malaria on the Thai-Burma border where much of the book was written.