A Daughter's Memoir of Burma (Hardcover)

By Wendy Law-Yone, David Steinberg (Foreword by)

Columbia University Press, 9780231169363, 309pp.

Publication Date: July 29, 2014



Wendy Law-Yone was just fifteen when Burma's military staged a coup and overthrew the civilian government in 1962. The daughter of Ed Law-Yone, the daredevil founder and chief editor of The Nation, Burma's leading postwar English-language newspaper, she experienced firsthand the perils and promises of a newly independent Burma.

On the eve of Wendy's studies abroad, Ed Law-Yone was arrested and The Nation shut down. Wendy herself was briefly imprisoned. After his release, Ed fled to Thailand with his family, where he formed a government-in-exile and tried, unsuccessfully, to foment a revolution. Exiled to America with his wife and children, Ed never gave up hope that Burma would one day adopt a new democratic government. Though he died disappointed, he left in his daughter's care an illuminating trove of papers documenting the experiences of an eccentric, ambitious, humorous, and determined patriot, vividly recounting the realities of colonial rule, Japanese occupation, postwar reconstruction, and military dictatorship. This memoir tells the twin histories of Law-Yone's kin and his country, a nation whose vicissitudes continue to intrigue the world.

About the Author

Wendy Law-Yone is the author of The Road to Wanting, Irrawaddy Tango, and The Coffin Tree. Her short stories have appeared in Grand Street and literary anthologies, and her book reviews and articles have been published in the Times Literary Supplement, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Architectural Digest, and Time Magazine. Her awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, a Harvard Foundation award, and a David T. K. Wong creative writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. She lives in London.