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Burmese Lessons: A True Love Story


Burmese Lessons: A True Love Story Cover

ISBN13: 9780385528009
ISBN10: 0385528000
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Orange Prize–winner Karen Connelly’s compelling memoir about her journey to Burma, where she fell in love with a leader of the Burmese rebel army.

When Karen Connelly goes to Burma in 1996 to gather information for a series of articles, she discovers a place of unexpected beauty and generosity. She also encounters a country ruled by a brutal military dictatorship that imposes a code of censorship and terror. Carefully seeking out the regime’s critics, she witnesses mass demonstrations, attends protests, interviews detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and flees from police. When it gets too risky for her to stay, Connelly flies back to Thailand, but she cannot leave Burma behind.


Connelly’s interest in the political turns more personal on the Thai-Burmese border, where she falls in love with Maung, the handsome and charismatic leader of one of Burma’s many resistance groups. After visiting Maung’s military camp in the jungle, she faces an agonizing decision: Maung wants to marry Connelly and have a family with her, but if she marries this man she also weds his world and his lifelong cause. Struggling to weigh the idealism of her convictions against the harsh realities of life on the border, Connelly transports the reader into a world as dangerous as it is enchanting.


In radiant prose layered with passion, regret, sensuality and wry humor, Burmese Lessons tells the captivating story of how one woman came to love a wounded, beautiful country and a gifted man who has given his life to the struggle for political change.


When visiting Burma in the mid-90s, Connelly discovers the unexpected beauty and generosity of a people struggling under a brutal military dictatorship. She comes to love a wounded country and a gifted man who has given his life to the struggle for change.

About the Author

KAREN CONNELLY’s first novel, The Lizard Cage, won the 2007 Orange Broadband Award for New Writers. Her first book, The Dream of a Thousand Lives, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2001.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Nancy Hieronymus, February 6, 2011 (view all comments by Nancy Hieronymus)
Karen Connelly writes beautifully about her journey to Burma to gather information about the brutal political system in Burma.
She finds warm, loving people there and finds herself immersed in their political struggles. She interviews Aung San Suu Kyi.
the opposition leader who has been detained in prison and her house. She witnesses demonstrations and protest meetings. She ends up
in the Thai-Burmese border and meets Maung, a resistance leader, whom she falls in love with. She realizes she can not live this harsh life and so returns home. This book is filled with true, high adventure and tells the hard, sad tale of the Burmese people.
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Marc Kelly, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Marc Kelly)
I would suggest to you that Karen Connelly is not a writer. Instead, I would put forward the argument that she is an artist who paints pictures with words. The sentences she writes exude literary color and vibrancy like thousands of Bollywood dancers all dressed in the brightest and most eye catching Saris performing their greatest routine. On more than one occasion I found tears streaming down my face when I took myself out of the narrative. I had become overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the pictures she had painted through the strokes of her words. At times I felt submerged in the environments described to the point I was almost feeling the Buddhist serenity and smelling the Burmese foods. The page truly is her canvas upon which she paints vivid imagery using the brush of her heart and the paints of her soul.
'Burmese Lessons' dissolves Ms Connelly's personal experiences and the day to day lives of the Burmese people, who live under a military dictatorship, into a memoir. Like the proverbial tea and sugar they start out as separate entities but one is added to the other and the stirring of a relationship takes place that has Ms Connelly drinking from the cup of love. Outside of this cup the Burmese table, on which the cup sits, is covered with dishes filled with oppression and injustice. Intimately linked to the Burmese culture Ms Connelly puts her safety on the line so we too can sample the foods that cover this table, digest the sociopolitical situation and taste for ourselves the life changing events of which she partook in the mid 1990s.
Reading this book was the literary equivalent of making love one last time to your soul mate in a four poster bed, on a balmy night, on top of the finest satin sheets and never wanting that night to end. It was bittersweet...full to the brim of joy and love yet overflowing with hurt and pain. So wonderful is the writing that the book itself is like a living, breathing entity that is full of life, love and sorrow. If you want to read a factual work that will move you and leave a lasting impression on your heart then look no further than 'Burmese Lessons'
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Product Details

Connelly, Karen
Nan A. Talese
Asia - General
Personal Memoirs
Burma Politics and government 1988-
Burma Description and travel.
Essays & Travelogues
| Travel | Asia
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.50x6.64x1.31 in. 1.57 lbs.

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Travel » Asia » General
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Burmese Lessons: A True Love Story New Hardcover
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Product details 400 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385528009 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , When visiting Burma in the mid-90s, Connelly discovers the unexpected beauty and generosity of a people struggling under a brutal military dictatorship. She comes to love a wounded country and a gifted man who has given his life to the struggle for change.
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