A Burmese Heart
A Burmese Heart is an engrossing account of surviving history as told through the eyes of Tinsa Maw-Naing: a former political prisoner, daughter of a Prime Minister and wife of guerrilla leader. It is also the story of a country and its people - revolutionaries, intellectuals, martyrs, innocent bystanders - who are perpetually caught in the violent cycles of politics, a history silenced until now. More
Spanning the colonial, independence, and dictatorship periods in Burma (Myanmar), A Burmese Heart is a gripping personal account of one woman and her family who lived through the making and unmaking of their country’s turbulent history. Tinsa Maw-Naing is born into privilege as the daughter of a wealthy barrister and his wife in Rangoon (Yangon), and she is forewarned at birth that she is destined to live a life of extremes. She is introduced to chaos at an early age when her father, Dr. Ba Maw, becomes Prime Minister and initiates the independence movement with likeminded nationalists during the fall of the colonial era. Forced to confront war and mortality during her childhood, Tinsa’s fate and mettle are tested amidst unparalleled destruction.
Tinsa marries Bo Yan Naing, one of the famed Thirty Comrades who were the nucleus of the modern military, and becomes one of the first female English Literature university lecturers during Burma’s gilded age of democracy. Her bliss is short-lived when a military dictatorship takes power in 1962, and her husband ignites a pro-democracy insurgency on the Thai-Burma border. In May 1966, soldiers ransack Tinsa’s home and she is taken to the notorious Ye Kyi Aing Prison in the outskirts of Rangoon (Yangon), where she is imprisoned for years as punishment for her husband’s insurrection. Her family and friends languish in secret detention centers as the first political detainees of that era, silent witnesses to the rise of a new regime.
A Burmese Heart is an engrossing account of surviving history as told through the eyes of one woman. It is also the story of a country and its people - revolutionaries, intellectuals, martyrs, innocent bystanders - who are perpetually caught in the violent cycles of politics, a history silenced until now.
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