Sadaik Short Reviews: Origin of the Kachin Manau

Sadaik Short Reviews: Origin of the Kachin Manau

A 100 word summary just doesn’t seem enough to describe how important this book is.  Though less than 50 pages long, the author, one of the most respected literary figures in the Kachin community, has demonstrated how oral legends and myths should not be relegated to a past that doesn’t concern us … 

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Writer Profile: Mra Hninzi

Mra Hninzi is a renowned Burmese to English to Burmese translator.  She was head of the foreign relations division at the department of immigration from 2000 – 2005, after she retired from government service she began her translation career.  Her translated books include ‘A brief History of Globalisation’ by Phillippe Legrain (which won the Sarpay Beikmann translation award in 2005), the ‘Bonesetter’s Daughter’ by Amy Tan, ‘Small Miracles’ series by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal and Thant Myint U’s ‘River of Lost Footsteps’.

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Sadaik Short Reviews: Selected Myanmar Short Stories

Sadaik Short Reviews: Selected Myanmar Short Stories

Despite being a decade old, still the best English language collection of short stories from Myanmar available.  Featuring over 20 celebrated writers including Journal Kyaw Ma Ma Lay, Nyi Pyu Lay, U Pe Myint, Khet Ma, Ma Sandar and Ma Ju among others.  Ma Thanegi’s translation, as usual, is pitch perfect with each story accompanied by a colour illustration.

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Northern Moon

Far away from the publishing power centres in Mandalay and Yangon and only a three hour drive from the frontline of a malignant civil conflict Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in the far north of Myanmar is not where you would necessarily expect to find a thriving literary group …

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Writer Profile: Mu Mu Winn

Mu Mu Winn is a writer and teacher.  She graduated with an MA in English from Yangon University and taught the subject there for 15 years.  Leaving Myanmar she worked in China, Laos and Bhutan for the United Nations, before gaining her MA in Education from Sussex University in the UK.  She spent the next 16 years living in Qatar as an English Lecturer at the State University.  She has now returned to Yangon where she dabbles in translation and interpretation.   She has published one novel in English, ‘A Gentle Kind of Poverty’.

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Sixth Enemy and Other Stories

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Sixth Enemy and Other Stories

A superb collection of 20 short stories that roam across lower Myanmar, from the capital to the coast to unnamed villages.  Ever-present in all of them are the women:  the wife, the aunt, the daughter and how their clans rely on them.  This is a collection undoubtedly of Myanmar, a voice that deserves to be joined by others in the future.

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Writer Profile: James Hla Gyaw

Despite his prominence as the author of the first true novel in the Burmese language, too little is known of James Hla Gyaw’s life. He was born on the 21st June 1866 in Shwegyin in Bago Region to Buddhist parents who died when he was just a child.  Adopted by his aunt, he converted to Christianity along with the rest of his family and was sent to Yangon, the new capital of British Burma for his education … 

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Writer Profile: Yu Ya

Writer Profile: Yu Ya

Yu Ya (1987) is the youngest scion of one of Myanmar’s most famous literary families.  The only woman in Myanmar to hold both a BA and MA in creative writing, she has won awards in interstate poetry competitions at township and state level.  She has published over 40 short stories, poems and essays for several of the leading literary journals in Myanmar including Shwe Amyutae, Thouk Kyar, Yati and Padouk Pwint Thit.  She currently works for BBC Media Action contributing to radio dramas on social and community issues.

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writer Profile: Sayar Lay Ko Tin

writer Profile: Sayar Lay Ko Tin

Sayar Lay Ko Tin (b.1947) is a writer, editor and translator.  Born in Yangon in 1947 he has spent 14 years in prison in the 1960’s, 70’s and 90’s for his political activities.  His first poem was published in 1985 in Sabei Phyu magazine and he has since gone on to publish 15 books, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including …

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Writer profile: Saw Lambert

Writer profile: Saw Lambert

Saw Lambert (1941- 2015) was born in a small village in Karen State close to the Thailand border.  As a teenager he boarded in the nearest high-school, forty miles away, and later graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Mawlamyine University in Mon State.  Having been denied permission by the Socialist Government to study bookbinding in the UK …

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31 Reasons Why Publishers Need to Rethink Myanmar

31 Reasons Why Publishers Need to Rethink Myanmar

If you buy enough books on Myanmar from foreign writers you start to notice something eerily familiar about them all.  It’s not just the content, though travel memoirs and political narratives are perennial favourites and Myanmar does seem to be becoming a popular ‘exotic’ setting for romance writers …

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Writer profile: Sai San Pyae

Writer profile: Sai San Pyae

Sai San Pyae (1991) is an ethnic Shan writer born in the northern town of Lashio, Shan State.  He graduated with a B.E (Mechanical) degree in 2013 from Lashio University of Information and Technology.  He currently works as a Basic Computer tutor at the Kham Ku Centre, a Shan youth community organisation housed in the grounds of the Shan Culture and Literature Association …

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Writer Profile: Green Maung

Writer Profile: Green Maung

Myint Win Hlaing (1981) is an ethnic Rakhine writer and teacher born in Pan Ni La village, Rakhine State.  He is a leading member of an influential Rakhine literature circle organising talks and live literature events for his remote community.  He has published short stories both in Burmese in Shwe Amyutae and Yote Shin Tay Kabyar magazines and in Rakhine language in Rakhine Journal.  He writes under the pen name Green Maung.

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U Thaw Kaung -Literary Legend

U Thaw Kaung -Literary Legend

The first time I met U Thaw Kaung, writer, librarian, collector and preserver, he sat alone on a bench under a large tree in a garden that slipped into Inya Lake.  There were other writers present, National Literature Award winners, former literary prisoners, many I knew, some I didn’t but it was U Thaw Kaung who everyone gravitated towards …

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Sadaik Long Review: Kachin Culture and Tradition in Myanmar by Rev. N-Gan Tang Gun

Sadaik Long Review: Kachin Culture and Tradition in Myanmar by Rev. N-Gan Tang Gun

One of the hopes of my book, The People Elsewhere, was to shine a light on the misconception that all languages and literature from the ethnic nationality groups in Myanmar had been suppressed by successive juntas over fifty years.  The reality is much more complicated of course … 

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Sadaik Long review: Up Close by Moe Linn

Sadaik Long review: Up Close by Moe Linn

There is no shortage of books on the market that delve into the life of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Peter Popham’s ‘The Lady and the Peacock’ and his more recent ‘The Lady and the Generals’, Justin Wintle’s ‘Perfect Hostage’, Bertil Lintner’s ‘Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Democracy’ among them …

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Writer Profile: Ah Phyu Yaung (shwe)

Writer Profile: Ah Phyu Yaung (shwe)

Ah Phyu Yaung (shwe) aka White Gold (b.1973) is a short story writer and businesswoman. Her first published story appeared in the widely respected Shwe Amyutae Magazine under her pseudonym ‘Ah Phyu Yaung’.  Later, she was bestowed the suffix (shwe) to her pen name as a mark of respect from the editorial board of Shwe Amyutae …

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Article: On Literary Associations in Myanmar

‘The first time I looked for it, I was expecting a 5th floor office in a blackened apartment block, or a shuttered ground floor hole in the wall.  I walked up and down Merchant Street between Bo Aung Kyaw and Pansodan several times before accepting defeat and asking in a tea shop.  The old man took the slip of paper in his hands.  Despite holding it upside down, he gave me a queer look and pointed straight up.’

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Article: On Burmese Literary Pen Names

Article: On Burmese Literary Pen Names

‘U Win Tun may not have had his face emblazoned on T-shirts sold for Westerners outside Yangon’s tourist shopping mecca of Scott Market, but for the Burmese, he was one of a trio of democratic heroes, just as iconic as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing, having spent nineteen years in prison for his involvement in the 1988 revolution.’

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