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Miss Burma de Charmaine Craig
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Miss Burma (edició 2017)

de Charmaine Craig (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
18211117,672 (3.43)54
"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 new-found 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"--… (més)
Membre:newnaturalmama
Títol:Miss Burma
Autors:Charmaine Craig (Autor)
Informació:Grove Press (2017), Edition: 1st, 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:**
Etiquetes:2021, historical fiction, Burma

Detalls de l'obra

Miss Burma de Charmaine Craig

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Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The author tells the story of a family living in Burma (Myanmar) during the volatile period when the British ceded control over the country to the Burmans resulting in war and violence against tribal groups. The story starts with Benny - who is of Indian and Jewish descent - and Khin - a member of the Karen tribe. For Benny it is "love at first sight" and he arranged a marriage with Khin, who is puzzled but receptive. They work through language and cultural barriers and start their married life. They have a child, Louisa, and things go well until World War II encroaches upon their lives. Japan invades and they are forced to flee for their lives. This begins the first of several flights into the jungle, times when Benny is captured and tortured, and times when Khin feels forced to do whatever it takes to survive. Through many ups and downs and political revolutions the family becomes a target and symbol when their oldest daughter, Louisa, enters a beauty pageant and becomes "Miss Burma".
This was a fascinating look at the history of a part of the world most US citizens know little about. But it was a tedious read at time, as lots of philosophizing is done by the characters throughout the story. It is based on the real backstory of her family, and I appreciated the chance to learn more about her people. Those who enjoy international fiction and the nuances of history will find this one of interest. ( )
  debs4jc | Sep 3, 2021 |
This book is full of lots of moving parts, and the purpose also gets muddied. On the one hand, Craig highlights an important and forgotten story about the Karen people in Burma. On the other hand, the novel is chock full of plot points that it felt as if I was reading a biography and history book at once. It's just so dense, and at the same time, Craig makes the mystifying choice--several times--to jump ahead in time and reveal a major plot point that we only hear about in an unconvincing dialogue between characters. Louisa is an interesting character, and I am disappointed the novel did not center around her. In short, this is an important history being told, but it relies too heavily on its own veracity to be credible to readers. Some different writing choices would have streamlined the novel and made it more interesting. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Historical fiction about Burma (Myanmar.). VERY INTERESTING. from the 1920's--1980's. When British were in Myanmar & then left with al the different factions trying to win control. snd half not as good as 1st part ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 30, 2020 |
"We are bewildered most of the time and doomed to be lost to history. And yet we find that there are others who are unlike us in every conceivable way, yet to whom we are bound."
The book has at its heart a couple, a Jewish businessman born in Rangoon, and a Karen woman, one of the minority communities in Burma (Myanmar) and their long marriage (not a spoiler!). I know little or nothing about Burma, beyond having read two books about modern Burma -one about popular protest / opposition a few years ago, which was fascinating, and Guy Delisle's GN account of living in Burma.

This novel, which is based on the author's own family history, has a very different context, exploring the long history of oppression by the Burmese majority against minorities like the Karen. It's a massive history, but by focussing on the experience of one family, Craig makes the horrors of WW2 and invasion by the Japanese, political oppression, American intervention in the politics of the region - all very human, very personal. Like all the best fiction, it made me want to understand more about the region, and read more. And it seemed terribly timely, in the light of the current situation in Burma. I particuarly admired the picture of Khin, who despite everything the world threw at her, was tough, a survivor, whilst at the same time struggling.
"...when she thought of how in desperation to provide for the children she’d started trading in peanut oil and cheroots and betel leaf, becoming part of an imprecise network of traders hawking their wares at open markets across the hot, wet, forested hills of eastern Mon State—what she remembered was the hours and hours, the weeks and months of walking. Walking without the burden of anyone or anything but what she had to trade. What she remembered was the fog, the damp, the rain that came slanting across the sky like relief, the watchful trees, the hungry mothers at the markets, the muddy paths that ruined her feet, the vastness of the peaceful sky, and the fields and fields of rice. Certain days, she would head out into the depth of those fields—unsure of whether she was crossing into enemy territory—and the lush green stalks seemed to regard her, in turn, an indistinct figure walking in an indistinct place." ( )
2 vota charl08 | May 3, 2018 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 11 (següent | mostra-les totes)
“Miss Burma” spans nearly 40 years of Burmese history, from 1926 to 1965. The story begins when Burma is still a British colony and unfolds over the course of World War II and the Japanese invasion, the country’s tumultuous early years of independence from colonial rule, and the subsequent military dictatorship that seized power in 1962. Given this backdrop, it is, of necessity, a novel of big themes — of identity, belonging and trust....“Miss Burma” also 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....In reimagining the extraordinary lives of her mother and grandparents, Craig produces some passages of exquisitely precise description...If at times the doling out of history lessons feels a tad heavy-handed, with characters occasionally succumbing to soliloquy or unlikely moments of narrative self-awareness, it is ultimately forgivable: The context in which “Miss Burma” is set is not part of a common well of knowledge. By resurrecting voices that are seldom heard on a wider stage, Craig’s novel rescues Benny from his own foretelling of oblivion and brings one of Burma’s many lost histories to vivid life.
 
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Look at the history of Burma. We go and invade the country: the local tribes support us: we are victorious: but like you Americans we weren't colonialists in those days. Oh no, we made peace with king and we handed him back his province and left our allies to be crucified and sawn in two. They were innocent. They thought we'd stay. They thought we'd stay. But we were liberals and we didn't want a bad conscience. - Graham Greene, The Quiet American
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In memory of my mother, Louisa, and her parents. Ben and Khin - all born in Burma. And for Andrew, Ava and Isabel.
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"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 new-found 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"--

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