Arrest Warrant Issued for Another Myanmar Writer

Arrest Warrant Issued for Another Myanmar Writer

With the Rakhine non-fiction writer, Wai Hin Aung (don’t be surprised if you have never heard of him) currently serving 20 years for high treason and the ongoing trials (plural!) and tribulations of the Peacock Generation poetic satire group, comes another writer currently wanted for, well, opening his mouth …

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Writer Profile: Ko Nyein

Ko Nyein (Mandalay) is a Modernist poet and short story writer.  Born in 1945 in the city after which he takes his pen-name, his first poems appeared in the respected Moe Way magazine, such as ‘A Boat with Three Men’, and ‘A Man with a Rickshaw’ and later in the 1990’s his short stories were featured in Shwe Amyutae journal … 

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Discovering the British Council’s Library

Discovering the British Council’s Library

The British Council might be a strange place to put on a list of prominent literary landmarks in Myanmar, but its library has played an influential role in the fight against decades of literary censorship in Yangon. The British Council’s original location was in Rander House on Pansodan Street, lower block, in the 1950’s. 

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Myanmar Writers Association

The Myanmar Writers Association has a long and twisted history in Myanmar.  Dating back to at least the parliamentary democratic era in the 1950’s, the association, initially independent, was brought under the control of both the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Home Affairs, during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s … 

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Writer Profile: Kyaw Mya Than

Kyaw Mya Than (1930 – 2000) was a novelist and non-fiction writer of the ‘realist’ tradition.  In the 1950’s parliamentary era he wrote political articles under the pen name Ye Baw Than before joining the staff of ‘Crime Magazine’ in 1956, a popular journal at the time.  He here found the theme that would become a constant in all his writing … 

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Writer Profile: Ma Sandar

Ma Sandar is an architect by trade and a writer by choice.  She made a name for herself with the publication of ‘Innocence of Youth’, a novel on the lives of students at the Yangon Institute of Technology in 1972.  She has gone on to publish 50 short stories and 13 novels, winning 3 National Literary Awards in 1994, 1999 and 2002.  5 of her novels have been made into movies.

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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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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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Exploring Burma’s Bookshops: OS

Exploring Burma’s Bookshops: OS

Named after its owner, Ohn Saw, OS was a pallet stall on Pansodan Street for 30 years, until opening at its present location at the turn of the transition in 2012.  Despite the sheer amount of books in the shop, the majority of the 100,000 stock is kept in various places, including in bundle sacks in alleyways, and the 1st floor of empty buildings on Pansodan Street …

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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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Tun Foundation Literary Awards

Tun Foundation Literary Awards

The annual Tun Foundation awards are one of Myanmar’s more important, independent literary prizes.  Created out of a private fund from the founders of the Tun banking family, it recognises books and manuscripts written in Burmese and English in 12 categories including History, Biography, Culture and Environment plus a lifetime achievement award … 

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