Participating Local Authors;
Latest news about the festival …….
- Zaw Thet Htwe
- Zeyar Lynn
- Mya Thwe Ni
- Sein Myo Myint
- Htine Win
- Soe Thaw Dar
- Ko Ko Thett
A sample of the festival’s packed programme includes Friday’s sessions on Burmese poetry and ethnic literature, Sudha Shah discussing her book on King Thibaw in exile and ‘Wild Swans’ author, Jung Chang, explaining why she became a writer. Dr Thein Naing talks about his life and the once dying art of Puppetry. Other Sessions include Zarganar, Ba Myint, the BBC’s Fergal Keane, William Dalrymple, (direct from the Jaipur Festival) and the famous blogger Nay Phone Latt.
Tickets for this unique event are selling out fast!
On Saturday Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s discussion of literature with life-long friend, U Thaw Kaung, will undoubtedly be one of the Festival highlights.
A second appearance at the Festival, on Saturday afternoon, sees Daw Aung San Suu Kyi take part in a thrilling panel discussion, with Jung Chang, Vikram Seth and William Dalrymple, on their favourite poetry and prose, moderated by the BBC’s Fergal Keane. On Sunday 3rd February the Festival continues with a teeming schedule of panel discussions,
photojournalism exhibitions, and individual talks. Tom Maschler describes the making of ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ before a special movie screening.
On Sunday the programme includes the ever popular ‘Ju’ and a host of others including Pascal Khoo Thwe (‘From the Land of Green Ghosts’), Ma Thida and Rory MacLean (‘Under the
Dragon’). Other stars of the literary and cultural scene will share their ideas and work in a
first of its kind festival for Burma/Myanmar.
Tickets are on sale now at Myanmar Book Centre, Monument Books, The Inya Lake Hotel and the British Council.
28 day tourist visas can be obtained from embassies of the Union of Myanmar. In London this takes about 10 working days so you should aim to get your application in as soon as possible.
How to get to Rangoon
There are still relatively few direct flights to Burma. Via Bangkok is still a favoured route. But there are now also direct flights to Rangoon from, for example, Singapore and Doha. Search the internet for deals. Overland into Burma is difficult but not necessarily impossible.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Rangoon is becoming more difficult by the day as tourist numbers increase. The Inya Lake Hotel, where the festival will be taking place, is already almost full. Again, the internet is the best bet to discover options. A number of agents come up on a Google search. These include Exotissimo, Golden Express Tours and Myanmar Travel.
Fergal Keane is a BBC Foreign Correspondent and winner of numerous journalism awards including a BAFTA, Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year, the James Cameron Prize and an OBE.
Keane is the author of seven books including the Orwell Prize winning ‘Season of Blood’, chronicling his experiences during the Rwandan genocide, and his top ten bestseller ‘Road of Bones’ on the siege of Kohima during the Burma campaign in World War Two. He is currently writing an account of the beginnings of British colonialism.
Jung Chang ( 張戎 / 张戎)
is the author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
(which the Asian Wall Street Journal
called the most read book about China), and Mao: The Unknown Story
(with Jon Halliday).
Pascal Khoo-Thwe was born into the Kayan Padaung tribe known for giraffe-necked women.
His autobiography “From the Land of Green Ghosts” won Kiriyama Prize and the best foreign book in France 2009.
George FitzHerbert is a Tibetanist scholar and writer based in Oxford. His first tutor in Tibetan was Michael Aris, husband of Aung San Suu Kyi.
He recently worked with the Dalai Lama editing his latest book, Beyond Religion, published in 2012. He is currently working on a translation of the Tibetan folk epic of Ling Gesar, known throughout Central Asia.
was schooled in Mumbai and Smith College, USA. She has spent the last seven years researching and writing The King in Exile: The Fall of the Royal Family of Burma. The book has been shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2012.
Josceline Dimbleby’s most recent book Orchards in the Oasis, a memoir of travel and food was published in October 2010 and won the Kate Whiteman award for food and travel writing. It contains a chapter on a journey in Burma in 1981.
William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two.
Nine Lives, his most recent book, won the Asia House Award for Asian Literature. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.
is a polymath. He abandoned a promising career as a painter to travel and in the 1980’s he became a best selling author; his first book Danziger’s Travels, is still in print to this day. More than anything else Nick is a traveller, a storyteller and an explorer of places and situations that most of us would never dare to go near.
is a writer- photographer and a film-maker specialising in Burmese and Chinese history. Her publications have focused on Asian travel, history and culture, including recently published Myanmar: Burma in Style (Odyssey Books), In Search of Burma and guides to China.
has spent more than ten years in various parts of Asia researching the region’s cultural traditions. He is currently working on a book about international Buddhist sculpture, a volume of poetry translations, and two writing projects about Myanmar.
Timothy Garton Ash is the author of nine books of political writing or ‘history of the present’ which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last quarter-century.
In 2006 Timothy won the Orwell Prize for Journalism.
Jonathan Powell is founder and CEO of Inter Mediate, an NGO devoted to conflict resolution working in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Jonathan was Chief of Staff to Tony Blair from 1995 to 2007 and from 2007 was also Chief British
Negotiator on Northern Ireland.
From 1978-79 he was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and Granada TV and from 1979 to 1994 a
Jonathan has published two books:
‘The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World’ (2010)
‘Great Hatred Little Room, Making Peace in Northern Ireland’ (2008) giving a personal account of the painstaking peace negotiations coupled with the television programme – Secret Diplomat – about his experiences.
Thierry Falise is a Belgian photo-journalist who started to cover South East Asia and beyond in the late 1980s. He has also published the biography of Burmese opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi and a chronicle/document on the cyclone Nargis which devastated Southern Burma in 2008.
In October 2012, Falise published, Burmese-Shadows
, on his 25 years coverage of Burma.
Victor Chan is the author of the Tibet Handbook: A Pilgrimage Guide. Chan co-authored the Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Travels with the Dalai Lama. His latest work, also co-authored with the Dalai Lama, is the Wisdom of Compassion: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insight. www.victorchanbooks.org/
is a writer, broadcaster, blogger and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books, including ‘Stalin’s Nose’ and ‘Under the Dragon’, have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and according to the late John Fowles are among works that ‘marvellously explain why literature still lives’.
Frank Dikötter is the author of Mao’s Great Famine, which won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. A prequel entitled The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution will be published by Bloomsbury in September 2013.
Akash Kapur is the author of India Becoming, a non-fiction book about change and modernity in India, and has written for various publications, including The Economist, Granta, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The International Herald Tribune (for which he used to write a fortnightly “Letter from India.”). Akash Kapur website
Michael Vatikiotis has worked as a writer and journalist in Southeast Asia for the past twenty-five years. His first novel, The Spice Garden (Equinox, 2004) is set in Indonesia’s fabled spice islands and tells the story about a small island community hit by the terror of religious violence.
Rory Stewart has been Member of Parliment for Penrith and the Border since 2010. Between 2000 and 2002 he walked 6000 miles across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal. The Places in Between is his account of this journey. His second book, The Prince of the Marshes describes his time as Deputy Governor of two provinces in Southern Iraq.
Dinah Roma’s first book of poetry A Feast of Origins (2004) won the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry while the her second volume Geographies of Light (2011) won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and is a finalist in this year’s National Book Awards.
Pandora (poet and fiction writer, Burma/Myanmar) is the editor of Tuning: An Anthology of Myanmar Women Poets published in August 2012, the first of its kind in Myanmar. She is currently working on her first collection of poems, which is due out in 2013.
James Byrne’s most recent poetry collection Blood/Sugar, was published by Arc in 2009. Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets, published in June 2012, is co-edited with ko ko thett and is the first anthology of Burmese poetry ever to be published in the West.
Nyein Way is a conceptual/post-conceptual, poet and writer, performance artist and educator. He has collaborated in multi-media art projects and poetry-based performance projects with international artists and poets inside and outside Myanmar.
Dr. Thant Myint-U was educated at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge and taught history as a Fellow of Trinity College. He is the author of three books, The Making of Modern Burma, The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma, and Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia. He is currently the Chairman of the Yangon Heritage Trust, a Member of the (Myanmar) National Economic and Social Advisory Council, a Senior Advisor to the Myanmar Peace Centre, a Senior Fellow of the Myanmar Development Resource Institute, a Member of the Fund Board of the (Myanmar) Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund, and the Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on South East Asia.