Burmese Lessons

Burmese Lessons

A Love Story

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Random House, Inc.
Burmese Lessons is a love story. Unlike conventional love stories, this one takes the reader into a world as dangerous and heartbreaking as it is enchanting.

When Karen Connelly finds herself in Burma in the late 1990s, she is immersed in a world of students staging mass demonstrations in opposition to Burma’s dictators, revolutionaries fighting an armed insurgency against that same military regime, and refugees living in hellish limbo in Thailand. Connelly first comes to love a wounded, remarkably beautiful country, then a gifted man who has given his life to its struggle for political change. Burmese Lessons is illuminated by the sensual language and flashes of humour that have won her fans around the world.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2009
ISBN: 9780307356680
Branch Call Number: 959.1053 CON
Characteristics: 463 p. ;,22 cm.

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WVMLStaffPicks Sep 17, 2014

An autobiographical account of the Canadian writer’s travels to Burma and the Burmese refugee areas in neighbouring Thailand in the mid-1990s. Connelly’s candid prose draws the reader into her heart and mind as she vividly recounts the generous, intelligent people she met and her passionate love affair with the leader of a Burmese guerrilla group.

m
mahallett
Oct 06, 2013

**** mahallett
first 200 pages are a lot of work like listening to someone talk endlessly about their love affair. the last 200 are much better.

t
Travel
Nov 19, 2011

An interesting account of the impact of military rule on the lives of ordinary Burmese and of active dissidents of this loathsome political regime. As one of the characters states, it its as if the military rulers are no longer Burmese, for their actions are the antithesis of the foundations of this Buddhist country.
Less interesting - and even boring to this reader, is the author's account of her love/lust relationship with one of the Burmese dissidents. Karen Connelly, unfortunately, leaves nothing to the imagination.

Goober1950 Jun 30, 2011

Excellent non fiction of memoires in Burma.

Describes life and its challenges in Burma. Her own love story is woven into this book. I'm not one who likes that many details where love is concerned. Still a great book though.

Cdnbookworm Apr 16, 2011

This memoir of the author's time visiting Burma and her relationship with a Burmese dissident is honest and emotional, but also touches on the idea of identity. She initially visits Burma to write about a writer who is being imprisoned, but ends up falling in love with Burma and its people. She meets many interesting people struggling to gain democracy for their country who are or have been imprisoned and tortured for their actions. When she meets and falls for a leader of the dissident movement, she is forced to face up to her own expectations of life and what she is willing to do for love.
Her writing gives a true feel to the situation in Burma at the time, and the lives the citizens of that country are forced to lead. You can also see that she doesn't hold anything back regarding her own reactions to it all, and that honesty is what really makes this book.
No wonder it was picked as one of the 2010 Evergreen finalists.

debwalker Jan 04, 2011

Chosen as Book of the Year by Sonnet L'Abbe: "Karen Connelly's lush witness in Burmese Lessons (Random House Canada) was an important, visceral reminder of the freedom and privilege I enjoy as a writer in Canada."

i
Iluv2read
Sep 25, 2010

Enjoyable as far as learning about Thailand and Burma with a personal story.
Would like to read other books by this author.

b
becker
Jun 16, 2010

This was a beautiful book. I think one of the reasons I loved it so much was because I had read The Lizard Cage first. The Lizard Cage left a big impact on me and gave me the political background I needed to really appreciate Burmese Lessons. This non-fiction work describes Connelly's time in Burma and Thailand and is so well written that is allows the reader to share the experience with her in a very intimate way. It explains her passion for Burma the country and the Burmese people and also shows the reader where she got her inspirations for some of the characters in The Lizard Cage. It also tells of an intense love affair that Connelly had which really adds to the whole passionate and deeply emotional feeling of the book. I loved this book, but I would recommend reading The Lizard Cage before reading this because in my experience, I don't think I could have appreciated Burmese Lessons as much as I did without reading The Lizard Cage first.

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