April 12, 2023

Burmese Lessons: A True Love Story

Author: Karen Connelly

Doubleday, May 18, 2010


Author Karen Connelly finds herself in Burma, where she discovers the unexpected beauty and generosity of a people struggling under a brutal military dictatorship.

Carefully seeking out the regime’s resisters, she is swept into the streets, where she witnesses mass demonstrations, beatings and arrests, and runs from the soldiers and riot police herself. After interviewing detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it gets too risky for her to stay, and Connelly flies back to Thailand.

At a Christmas party she meets Maung, the handsome and charismatic leader of a guerilla army fighting against the Burmese military machine. An unlikely romance develops, leading Connelly to join Maung’s military camp in the jungle. He 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.

Burmese Lessons tells the story of how one woman came to love a wounded, remarkably beautiful country, and a gifted man who has given his life to the struggle for change. Told with passion, regret sensuality, and wry humor Connelly’s captivating story is 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.

Connelly speaks English, Greek, Spanish, French, Thai and Burmese, and when she’s not traveling, she makes her home in Toronto.

Connelly’s first novel, The Lizard Cage, won the 2007 Orange Broadband Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The New York Times Book Review compared it to the works of George Orwell, Nelson Mandela and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Her first book, The Dream of a Thousand Lives – an account of the year she spent in Thailand at seventeen – won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2001.

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