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Stories of war and survival

Here are my latest book recommendations for the Northwest Asian Weekly:

Burmese Refugees: Letters from the Thai-Burma Border
Edited by T. F. Rhoden and T. L. S. Rhoden
Digital Lycanthrope LLC, 2011

From former student activists and a monk escaping persecution, to a politician’s son and a typical teenage girl caught in a bad situation, the people who reside in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border are a cross section of the Burmese population.
The young and old from differing backgrounds await different dreams for the future. But one thing they all have in common is that they are waiting for the day when they can leave the camps and never look back.
“Burmese Refugees” is a collection of essays written by individuals living in a refugee camp at the Thai-Burma border. The essays were written as an assignment for an English class held in the camp. Students were asked to write about their past to practice formulating sentences in the past tense. Instructor T. F. Rhoden was blown away by the resulting stories.
The tales are straightforward and simply stated. Some students had been directly involved in Burma’s most recent protests in 1988 and 2000, while others had family ties to these protesters.
Some were escaping human rights abuses due to their ethnicity. Their respective journeys to the camps were intense, filled with fear and anxiety, but most just said they had to flee. Nothing more. Nothing less. That was the understood reality in Burma under military control.

To read the rest, click here.


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