Two years ago, the name “Myanmar” conjured up foggy images of dread: an imprisoned Nobel Prize laureate, brutal military rulers, a people hidden from the rest of the world by their own borders. Now, under a new president, the country is emerging from decades of isolation, welcoming the outside world and the change that comes with it.
This transformation came to the forefront last spring when Daniel Combs arrived in the country just days before the first free and fair elections in decades. In his debut book, Sorcerers and Cigarettes, he investigates the mood of the human side of the equation, how everyday Burmese people fit into the picture even as their country shifts gears on an international scale.
It is an unforgettable journey. From the trash-clogged alleys of Yangon, to the remote northern jungles, where he sneaks into rebel territory to spend time with soldiers waging a civil war for autonomy, Combs presents a thoughtful, funny and indelibly human portrait of an utterly unique country, of a people both blessed and cursed by history. Along the way, he finds that Myanmar just might have something to teach him about himself, too.
About Daniel Isaac Combs
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Published January 16, 2013
by Daniel Isaac Combs.