Burmese Lessons by Karen Connelly
A true love story

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Karen Connelly

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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.
Published April 30, 2010 by Nan A. Talese. 402 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Travel, Romance, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Orange Broadband Award winner Connelly (The Lizard Cage, 2007, etc.) bluntly chronicles her experience from the front lines in varying contexts: conducting investigative research in teeming Bangkok, watching a brutal street protest with Buddhist monks in Rangoon, seeing a child with malaria peris...

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The New York Times

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The border is the invisible shifting country they inhabit now.” At a party in Chiang Mai, Connelly meets a man who calls himself Maung, the leader of an expatriate revolutionary faction, with whom she will share the “love story” of her subtitle.

Jun 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Burmese Lessons: A true love ...

The Globe and Mail

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Before writing this review of Karen Connelly's memoir, Burmese Lessons, I read again portions of The Lizard Cage, her 2005 novel that went pretty much unnoticed when it came out in Canada, and then won the Orange Broadband Prize for New Writers in 2007.

Sep 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Burmese Lessons: A true love ...

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