Burmese Lessons: A true love story

Burmese Lessons A true love story Orange Prize winner Karen Connelly s compelling memoir about her journey to Burma where she fell in love with a leader of the Burmese rebel army When Karen Connelly goes to Burma in to gather in
  • Title: Burmese Lessons: A true love story
  • Author: Karen Connelly
  • ISBN: 9780385528009
  • Page: 228
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Burmese Lessons: A true love story
    Orange Prize winner Karen Connelly s compelling memoir about her journey to Burma, where she fell in love with a leader of the Burmese rebel army When Karen Connelly goes to Burma in 1996 to gather information for a series of articles, she discovers a place of unexpected beauty and generosity She also encounters a country ruled by a brutal military dictatorship that impoOrange Prize winner Karen Connelly s compelling memoir about her journey to Burma, where she fell in love with a leader of the Burmese rebel army When Karen Connelly goes to Burma in 1996 to gather information for a series of articles, she discovers a place of unexpected beauty and generosity She also encounters a country ruled by a brutal military dictatorship that imposes a code of censorship and terror Carefully seeking out the regime s critics, she witnesses mass demonstrations, attends protests, interviews detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and flees from police When it gets too risky for her to stay, Connelly flies back to Thailand, but she cannot leave Burma behind Connelly s interest in the political turns personal on the Thai Burmese border, where she falls in love with Maung, the handsome and charismatic leader of one of Burma s many resistance groups After visiting Maung s military camp in the jungle, she faces an agonizing decision Maung 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 Struggling to weigh the idealism of her convictions against the harsh realities of life on the border, Connelly transports the reader into a world as dangerous as it is enchanting In radiant prose layered with passion, regret, sensuality and wry humor, Burmese Lessons tells the captivating story 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.
    Burmese Lessons: A true love story By Karen Connelly,
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      Karen Connelly

    About " Karen Connelly "

  • Karen Connelly

    Karen Connelly was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1969, to a large working class family She s the author of eleven best selling books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry She has read from her work and lectured in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia She has won the Pat Lowther Award for her poetry, the Governor General s Award for her non fiction, and Britain s Orange Broadband Prize for New Fiction for her first novel The Lizard Cage Karen has served on the board member of PEN Canada and has been active in the Free Burma movement A proficient to fluent speaker of several languages, she divides her time between her home in rural Greece and her home in Toronto, Canada She is married with a young child.


  • I have mixed feelings about this book Parts of it I loved and I had a hard time putting down the book But about half way through at the beginning of the love story I stalled I struggled through a couple of chapters before becoming engrossed in the book all over again.

  • Having read Karen Connelly s novel The Lizard Cage, which the author wrote after this compelling memoir Burmese Lessons A True Love Story, I better understand Connelly s background and qualifications for The Lizard Cage Sponsored by PEN Canada, Connelly went to Burma and Thailand in 1966 to get information on Burmese political prisoners While she was in Burma, she observed first hand the tyrannical ruling military in a violent street demonstration by Buddhist monks in Rangoon She also interviewe [...]

  • Given the rave reviews from many sources, and Connelly s reputation as a writer, I found this memoir altogether disappointing The book centers on her love affair with Maung, a charismatic Burmese Freedom fighter In the background, Connelly writes about the struggles and suffering of the Burmese, which was why she was in Burma and Northern Thailand Much ado was made over her graphic descriptions of her sexual encounters, and while we are all young, dumb, and full of c at one point in our lives, a [...]

  • Unflinchingly honest Exotic locale, politics, cultural contentions and obsessive love what can you ask for The fact that this is memoir and not fiction only makes me wish I d been so brave.

  • She is a remarkable author After publishing Lizard Cage which won Orange prize, she thought she was finished with Myanmar because she spent ten years on it However, she felt compelled to write a memoir about her connection with Myanmar and Myanmar people s struggle for democracy and her love affair with Maung who was from ABSDF.This woman can really write.When she and he had a quarrel, she described the room that lacked barrier between them except a fridge which was no use either She sat on the [...]

  • Burmese Lessons, an account of Connelly s brief time in Burma and in Thailand in 1996, is a love story in than one way She writes with great affection for Burma and its people and the grace and beauty she found in both She also writes about her love affair with a young Burmese dissident.I loved Connelly s book The Lizard Cage Burmese Lessons provides the reader with insight into the creation of the earlier book Connelly spent her weeks in Burma interviewing political dissidents including the mo [...]

  • This book started off real slow Not very exciting at first, but then finally picked up in pace I personally thought it was stupid that this woman would put herself in danger when she didn t need to She is no hero for doing this When one can avoid trouble then smartly do it I can t feel sorry for people who would deliberately put themselves in danger It is just like someone climbing Mount Everest then they make they news because they got frostbite and lost a leg, etc How stupidn t climb the mount [...]

  • This was a very interesting and gripping memoir of the author s life in Burma and Thailand There is a political side to the memoir and a love story woven in which makes the story very complex and eye opening I found myself transported back in time to this beautiful country with all its political upheaval and unrest.

  • I found Connelly s style of narration to be very authentic Reading it provided me with a better idea of the struggles of those fighting for their basic rights in Burma The ending felt a bit abrupt and I was a little disappointed with Connelly s explanation of why she had to leave.

  • Karen Connelly spent a year in Thailand as a 17 year old student I read her book about that experience and found it interesting but immature In Burmese Lessons Connelly returns to Thailand and to Burma as a 27 year old writer Her intention is to interview Burmese writers, artists and others, especially women, who have been imprisoned and censored The interviews that she shares in the book are interesting She says that people who have spent years in jail crave personal relationships, and spend li [...]

  • I would suggest to you that Karen Connelly is not a writer Instead, I would put forward the argument that she is an artist who paints pictures with words The sentences she writes exude literary color and vibrancy like thousands of Bollywood dancers all dressed in the brightest and most eye catching Saris performing their greatest routine On than one occasion I found tears streaming down my face when I took myself out of the narrative I had become overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the pictures [...]

  • I picked this book up with the hopes that it would provide a non political angle to the story of Myanmar, and insight into the lives of those working in Myanmar and on the border in the 90s And to some degree, Burmese Lessons accomplished that The expat world that the author describes doesn t seem all that different from the expat world in Myanmar today, for example And frankly, I guess I didn t think that carefully about it while making a quick grab near Bogyoke market.That said, I don t rememb [...]

  • After reading Karen Connelly s The Lizard Cage I knew I had to read her memoir about her life in Burma and Thailand The book broke my heart Compassionate and inspiring, Karen enters another world, where political dissidents struggle constantly, life on the jungle border is deadly, and a woman, especially a Western woman, is not expected to enter the fray Forced to sit by and observe the struggle agonizingly from the sidelines, Karen falls in love with Maung, a Burmese revolutionary.It may be har [...]

  • This book gripped me from the first page It is a memoir about the author s time living in Burma and Northern Thailand when she was doing research for a book about Burma The description of the people she met, interviewed and the friends that she made was fascinating I enjoyed being allowed to have a glimpse into the very secretive world of Burmese life I also admire her willingness to take risks to tell the story that needs to be told about the way the Burmese people have to live under their pres [...]

  • As I started reading Burmese Lessons, I felt I had found a kindred soul Seeing Burma through Karen Connelly s eyes was almost as good as traveling there myself I, too am infected with the desire to grasp meanings, which makes it difficult to keep things simple I, too have closed my eyes and stirred a spoon around my gut I appreciated her descriptions of the Burmese people, The eyes look at me so directly their aliveness is shocking In most Western cities, strangers avoid eye contact If you smile [...]

  • 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, s [...]

  • What did I like about this book Connelly s descriptions of Bangkok were dead on she made you smell and taste Bangkok with her vivid and accurate visual images I learned so much about Burma, the Burmese people, and the situation there and am challenged to read I liked her focus on women in the Burmese political struggle Her descriptions of the border camps were eye opening The love story was missing something for me as I guess it was for her Their love seemed sexual and less romantic and commit [...]

  • The plight of the Burmese garnered my attention, and I felt Karen Connelly might do the subject justice The book started with much promise, but halfway through the book, the central theme became Maung Karen mentions her love of Burma, and the yearning to be in Burma, but I miss the raison d etre The grueling conditions both in the jungle and in the city provide no clue to this love with Burma The people and the culture are amazing, but their spirit is not fully captured The plight of the Burmese [...]

  • This is an amazing story told by Karen Connelly, a Canadian who spends part of her year in Greece lucky At age 28 she travels to northern Thailand and into Burma She meets several Burmese refugees turned revolutionaries, interviews Aung San Suu Kyi, witnesses military attacks on demonstrators, falls in love with a revolutionary leader, lives in a border jungle camp and practices Buddhist meditation Since she had spent her youth living with a Thai family she speaks Thai and tries to learn Burmese [...]

  • Connelly writes with an honesty that is refreshing She writes about meeting with dissidents and protesters in Rangoon while researching for her novel, The Lizard Cage The Lizard Cage is a powerful book written about the military juanta and how the people are being abused by their own government Lessons lacks the power of her fiction because it is swamped with too much detail and repetition The book 460 pages would have been better if a third of the book had been edited out Writing needs to be co [...]

  • This book has numerous flaws, in my eyes It is meandering, too long, gives much cultural and political information without building to any meaningful statements, and is written by someone who seems rather self absorbed It is meant to be a love story, and it kind of is although I think it maybe Connelly s love for southeast Asia that is truly described than her love for Maung, which seems sexual fascination and obsession with an idea of someone who loves her and maybe, could be, the father of h [...]

  • This is a very interesting story, but it lacks the flow of either Touch the Dragon or The Lizard Cage Still, it was a very engaging book, and I read it in one sitting This book has one of the most memorable passages I ve read in a long time Karen is on the street and walks into a demonstration She s pulled into an alley by monks who are hiding from the military I love this passage because it illustrates the generosity of the Burmese, even in situations that are clearly dangerous for them.This bo [...]

  • This book was the first one I ever won when joining the family years ago I never got around to reading it until now I wish I would have read it sooner It is a very nice read Since I spent several months in Thailand myself it brought back a lot of memories and the descriptions were right on.In discussing the conflicts in Burma the author did not overwhelm the reader but educated them a little at a time I now want to read her award winning book, Burma.I would recommend Burmese Lessons to one and a [...]

  • At times this book dragged I had a hard time with her love affair partly I think because in the first 1 3 it seems that she might be going to have a relationship with her guide in Burma I personally had become attached to him, so when Maung came along I didn t like him However, Connelly certainly can write and it is her descriptions and phrasing that make this book work for me I cared deeply about Myanmar and the people she wrote about It is thought provoking, terrifying and heartbreaking all at [...]

  • My actual rating 3.75I found this on the shelf at Goodwill and was drawn to it because it is about Burma This account of Karen s journey to Burma to interview dissidents leads to a heart wrenching experience I feel like we were in some kind of bubble while living there as I didn t realize all that was going on with those who opposed the government Connelly exposes the reality of the situation and its toll on the lives of those in Burma and Thailand A very thought provoking account I really enjoy [...]

  • First, I have to say that I won this book from It was a good book, although it took me forever to get through it The author brought to attention the situation in Burma and it has informed me a lot That was what is interesting in the book But the second half of the book it shifted focus to Maung I would have liked to learn about Burma and the people, and why Karen Connelly love the country since I do not see that I would recommend it to others who are curious about Burma.

  • Having just lived 3 years in Yangon Myanmar, formerly known as Burma , this autobiography contains many vivid images and significant portrayals of the country and people I love during some of its darkest hours An amazing portrayal of a part of the ethnic resistance that has gone on for decades Even to read of the protest that occurred in the street were I lived brought again a chill to my being If you haven t read Karen s The Lizard Cage, you have missed one of the most significant Canadian nove [...]

  • Thank you Just won this book Received my copy thanks again.I was excited to read about Burma and the military dictatorship the Burmese people live under since I know nothing about this subject The book was very informative and gave me a good feel for the oppressive lifestyle the Burmese people are forced to live I have to say I liked the first half of the book better than the second half probably because the last part of the book focused on Maung, her lover, than on the Burmese people and their [...]

  • this author is getting better and better this is much better written than her one room in castle which admittedly was pretty depressing, her looking for her lost sister in the basque country, from an od or suicide or foul play , but this one too is pretty damn depressing too burma was and is really really fucked up, and beautiful its seems connelly has the corner on beautiful writing and very depressing things Even her love affair depressed me imuststopreadingbooksaboutburmaand karen connelly ss [...]

  • This is one of the books that I had to parse out my reading times as I was so enthralled with the characters True story of Canadian PEN member who travels to Burma to meet with imprisoned writers It is in the neighboring Thailand where she meets and falls in love with one of the exiled guerilla leaders Captivating book that brings alive the sights, sounds and smells of South east asia Immediately brought me back to years ago living with a Karen Hill Tribe in the rainforest of Thailand I am thril [...]

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