I originally started this post with a rundown of all the new non-fiction books that have been published overseas since the beginning of the recent Rohingya crisis in 2017 but then realised it would simply be too long for it to be of any use. Out of the 120 books on the Goodreads Burma/Myanmar list, a full quarter are on the Rohingya.
Then I thought about a list of non-fiction books that centred on the Kachin crisis, but realised it would simply be too short for it to be of any use. Of those 120 books on Goodreads, I only found 1 (read into that what you will)
I did do a Rohingya in Modern Fiction post back in early 2018, but it seems I was a bit premature as since then, fiction on the Rohingya and the crisis has grown.
(Incidentally, I did also wonder about a list of novels set on the Kachin crisis, but could find no fiction at all, novels or otherwise! Again, make your own assumptions about that)
Obviously, there is a large disclaimer with this post. I haven’t read any of the books on this list. Judging by some of them, I probably wont, others I would be interested in. Some seem to genuinely want to address the crisis , others appear to use it as a ‘sexy’ or ‘exotic’ background. I am not saying these novels are good or bad.
It is simply a useful list for anyone who wants to explore the Rohingya crisis through fiction.
(Click on the title to take you the relevant Amazon page)
Life of Rohingya by Firoz Khan (November 2017)
Aisha, her young son and teenage sister set out to cross the Andaman Sea.
Rohingya – The Newage Exodus by Usman Aman (November 2017)
When private investigator, Ryan Abdullah receives a note under his door summoning him to Bangladesh he quickly assemblies his investigation team.
No Rohingya by Yves Bourny (April 2018)
‘No Rohingya’ interweaves the narrative of the family of Arun, a young Muslim Rohingya in Arakan, Burma, with the tales recounted to the children of the community by his elderly grandmother Tameema.
The Rohingya Princess by Teejay Lecapois (June 2015)
Follow the life of Salima “Sally” Serajul, born in the Rakhine region of Burma to a Rohingya Muslim father and a white British mother, Eileen Thompson, and raised in London, England.
Rohingya: The Sold Dream by Mumtaz Moosa Saley (November 2017)
“Mumtaz Moosa Saley’s The Sold Dream proves to be a compelling and incredibly moving read, that transports you deep into the inhumane tragic reality faced by the Rohingya Nation.”
A Family from Rohingya by Mustafa Al Qurneh (September 2018)
Trail of Fears by Richard Humphries (August 2018)
Can a mother and her three youngest children escape to safety as soldiers attack their community?
Why No Goodbye? by Pamela L. Laskin (November 2019)
Jubair’s family is stuck in Myanmar, until his mother escapes with three of her children leaving Jubair behind to fend for himself.
Have Fun in Burma: A Novel by Rosalie Metro (March 2018)
An English teacher in Burma becomes determined to help stop communal violence by concocting a scheme that quickly spirals out of control.
Mahmood and Mrs Wynworth by Simon Lennon (December 2017)
An Australian politician proves her support for Rohingya refugees by inviting them into her home. One comes.
The Unexpected Friend: A Rohingya Children’s Story by Raya Rashna Rahman (Author), Inshra Sakhawat Russell (Illustrator), Mitali Perkins (Consultant Editor)
An illustrated picture book around Faisal, a young Rohingya boy in a Bangladeshi refugee camp, who finds a bird with a broken wing and decides to take care of it with his sisters.
Hard Asset (Cobra Elite Book 2) by Pamela Clare (August 2019)
An International Criminal Court prosecutor investigating Rohingya refugee camps falls in love with her security detail, a former Delta Force soldier.
(Note: I was in two minds to include this book or note. Almost every fiber of my body disagrees with using the Rohingya crisis as a backdrop to what appears – at least from the cover and the blurb – an adult romance/erotica book, but Pamela Clare’s book has got almost 5 times the number of reviews and ratings than all the other books on this list combined. I haven’t read it, which doesn’t give me the right to exclude it.)
BONUS: TWO POETRY PUBLICATIONS
I Am a Rohingya: Poetry from the Camps and Beyond by James Byrne (Editor), Shehzar Doja (Editor)
EXODUS: Between Genocide and Me by Mayyu Ali (June 2019)
Again, i must point out that I have not read any of these books, and can not comment on how accurately, sensitively, or creatively, these books have represented, approached or explored what it means to be a Rohingya. Buyer Beware!