Miss Burma
by Charmaine Craig
Praise For This Book:
Longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
An Amazon Best Book of the Month (Literature & Fiction)
An Indie Next Selection

“Miss Burma is a timely exposition of trust after trauma. [It] also serves as a much-needed recalibration of history, one that redresses the narrative imbalance by placing other ethnic, non-Burmese points of view at the center of its story . . . In reimagining the extraordinary lives of her mother and grandparents, Craig produces some passages of exquisitely precise description . . . and rescues Benny from his own foretelling of oblivion and brings one of Burma’s many lost histories to vivid life.”—Emma Larkin, New York Times Book Review

“[An] epic new novel . . . The sweeping, multi-generational story of a family belonging to the Karen ethnic minority, Miss Burma charts both a political history and a deeply personal one—and of those incendiary moments when private and public motivations overlap.”—Agatha French, Los Angeles Times

“An epic roman à clef . . . Craig . . . masterfully renders the human condition in matters micro and vast . . . Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity—not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women.”—Keziah Weir, Elle

“This multigenerational saga portrays the emergence of modern Burma—through British colonialism, wartime occupation by the Japanese, and the independence era . . . Craig ably controls the novel’s historic sweep, and is unsparing in providing details of meticulous torture and wartime horror. She also conveys a strong sense of family.”—New Yorker (Briefly Noted)

“Craig expects a good deal of her audience in terms of their appetite for Burmese history, and I hope that many will rise to the occasion, because the rewards are rich . . . Craig has called writing this novel ‘a political act’; it is also clearly a deeply personal one. She weaves those threads together for us, showing us the ordinary human failings behind what often seem like clear-cut cases of good and evil . . . While this novel cannot untangle ethnic identity from tribalism, it is a courageous attempt to broaden the way we see others and ourselves, both personally and politically, at home and abroad.”—Rosalie Metro, Los Angeles Review of Books

“[A] riveting account of the treacheries, fractures, and courageous acts of wartime.”—Jane Ciabattari, BBC (Ten Books to Read in May) “Rich and layered, a complex weaving of national and personal trauma . . . Craig has written a captivating second novel that skillfully moves from moments of quiet intimacy and introspection to passages portraying the swift evolution of political events as multiple groups and nations vie for control of Burma's future. Mesmerizing and haunting.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] tale of love and disenchantment, loyalty and resentment, recognition and isolation . . . Whether Craig is describing the family’s escape through the jungle during WWII or student protests in 1962, she transports us to the thick of the conflicts . . . Based on real lives, Craig’s historical novel challenges our assumptions about everything from beauty queens to rebels and reminds us that the course of a nation’s history is often determined by the fallibility of individuals.”—Booklist (starred review)

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