Sadaik Short Reviews: On the Road to Mandalay

Sadaik Short Reviews: On the Road to Mandalay

While many imported literary forms have been adapted by Burmese writers, it is the ‘wuthu saungbar’ which the writers have embraced and perfected.  A masterwork of the blend in fact and fiction, this particular road, begun by Ludu U Hla in the 1950s, follows Mya Than Tint on a 1980’s literary tour of the country and …

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Japanese Era Rangoon General Hospital

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Japanese Era Rangoon General Hospital

Memoirs are a common genre in Burmese literature in translation, and yet here, we have something unique.  Dr Myint Swe’s memoir of his time at Rangoon General Hospital No.1 is a rare and enjoyable account of wartime Burma under the Japanese occupation from the life of a Burman.

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Rainy Season Setting

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Rainy Season Setting

In this slim chapbook a sense of place is everywhere, guided by the subtleness of San Oo’s voice which shifts, from civility to a harshness unexpected.  Throughout, the senses are lulled by a cadence brought on repetitious cycles, yet, Nyunt Wai Moe’s impressive translation, never falters, it never bores.  The Rainy Season Setting is to be read in a single sitting, to do otherwise would be to disrupt the voyage.

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Sadaik Short Reviews: 12 Poems

Sadaik Short Reviews: 12 Poems

The 12 poems from the eponymous title have been scoured from among many of Aung Cheimt’s works, dating back to 1995 and are thematically linked to seasons.  Many are sparse, some just mere thoughts taken to paper, neither epic nor fantastical.  Maung Tha Noe, once again, has proved his talents, in an effortless translation that reads smoothly and retains that firmness and determination of intent that Aung Cheimt is known for.

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Sadaik Short Reviews: Myanmar in my Lifetime

Sadaik Short Reviews: Myanmar in my Lifetime

As the eponymous ‘k’ states in the prologue, this is not a book of his life but rather of Burma in the 1920’s, and yet it inevitably returns to him, and his family, his friends as they navigate a turbulent time in Myanmar, a time of literary renaissance and anti-colonial political awakenings … 

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Bamboo Clapper Essays

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Bamboo Clapper Essays

A collection of fifty short articles published in the mid to late 1960’s in the Working People’s Daily newspaper.  While most anthologised articles from Myanmar rarely have a thematic identity, this particular collection, compiled by Win Pe’s son, is an extreme jumble of thoughts …

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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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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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