Suggested Reading List
A History of Myanmar Since Ancient Times, Traditions and Transformations
Author: Michael A. Aung-Thwin
Description: Michael Aung-Thwin takes us from the sacred stupas of the plains of Bagan to the grand colonial-era British mansions in this tale of Burma’s storied 3,000-year history and rich culture.
Burma, Rivers of Flavor
Author: Naomi Duguid
Description: A culinary adventurer, Naomi Duguid presents the food, local markets, people and culture of Burma in this exceedingly informative (not to mention beautiful) cookbook and cultural guide. The 125 personable recipes (most get at least a page) are interspersed with tales and photographs from her many travels in the region. Her first solo venture (she parted ways with husband and co-author Jeffrey Alford a few years ago), Burma, Rivers of Flavor, like Beyond the Great Wall and Mangoes & Curry Leaves introduces a new world through its food.
Burma/Myanmar, What Everyone Needs to Know
Author: David I. Steinberg
Description: One in a series of brief, balanced, and authoritative guides by Oxford University Press.
Author: George Orwell
Description: Orwell, a veteran of the Colonial police force in Rangoon, writes with irony and insight in this sharp novel of politics, folly and the British.
Collected Short Stories, Volume 4
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Description: Maugham can evoke turn-of-the-century colonial Asia like no other. This collection of stories features many set in Malaysia, Borneo and other southeast Asian locales, including the well-known tale "The Letter."
Freedom from Fear and Other Writings
Author: Aung San Suu Kyi, Michael Aris (Editor)
Description: This collection of speeches, letters and interviews by and about Burma's Nobel Prize-winning human rights leader, edited by her late husband and with forwards by Vaclav Havel and Desmond Tutu, provides essential background to her role in Burmese politics and the situation of the country today.
In Buddha's Land
Author: Moe Min
Description: This beautiful, illustrated portrait of monuments, monasteries and rituals is both a striking visual overview of Buddhism as practiced in Burma, and a splendid introduction to the country.
Insight Guide Burma
Author: Insight Guides
Description: An illustrated overview of Burma with essays on history, archaeology and culture.
Letters from Burma
Author: Aung San Suu Kyi, Heinn Htet
Description: A collection of candid and affectionate letters on Burmese culture, daily life and politics written by the country's iconic Nobel Prize-winning human rights leader who was held under house arrest by the military junta for many years.
Myanmar (Burma) Map
Description: A double-sided map of Burma at a scale of 1:1,500,000, with an inset of Rangoon.
The Burma Chronicles
Author: Guy Delisle
Description: Posted to Burma with his Doctors Without Borders wife and young son, Delisle captures the absurdities, challenges and routines of everyday life in Burma in bold black-and-white panels in this droll graphic travelogue, his third.
The Glass Palace
Author: Amitav Ghosh
Description: In this panoramic novel full of tales and anecdote, Ghosh follows the lives and fortunes of Rajkumar and his family over three eventful generations in Burma, India and Malaysia.
The Lady and the Peacock, The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi
Author: Peter Popham
Description: Currently on her first visit to the United States in decades, the Burmese activist has been busy indeed, meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, with Hillary Clinton and many others, making speeches at Harvard and Yale, and receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, awarded to her in 2008. Peter Popham's timely biography follows the arc of Suu Kyi's life from her childhood in Rangoon, formative years in India and Oxford, marriage to Michael Aris and her return to Burma, where she has become a potent symbol for the Burmese people. The British journalist doesn’t dodge from Suu Kyi's moral decision to remain in Burma, even as her husband was dying in 1999, and her children Alexander and Kim remained behind in Britain.
The Piano Tuner
Author: Daniel Mason
Description: In this transporting first novel, a mild-mannered tradesman is seduced by late Victorian Burma. Mason's complex, absorbing tale dives into the world of 19th-century colonial Burma, its traditions, trappings, personalities and politics.
Twilight over Burma, My Life as a Shan Princess
Author: Inge Sargent, Bertil Lintner (Introduction)
Description: A memoir (though told in the third person) of Inge Sargent, an Austrian who in 1953 married Sao Kya Seng, the princely leader of Shan, an ethnic enclave in the hill country of northeastern Burma. A fascinating story.
Where China Meets India, Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia
Author: Thant Myint-U
Description: Home to 60 million people and bigger than France, Burma -- as Thant Myint-U so effectively argues --- is hardly small or politically isolated; it is at the center of Asia. Mr. Thant mixes anecdote, travel, memoir and history in this compelling personal portrait -- and Cri de Coeur for western engagement in the region.