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.
first 200 pages are a lot of work like listening to someone talk endlessly about their love affair. the last 200 are much better.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Enjoyable as far as learning about Thailand and Burma with a personal story.
Would like to read other books by this author.
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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