THE DAILY BEAST, NEW YORK ONLINE PAPER, JUNE 9, 2010

< back to Burmese Lessons

Karen Connelly’s award-winning debut novel, The Lizard Cage, earned her comparisons to George Orwell and Nelson Mandela, and her second novel is no less ambitious. Set in Southeast Asia in the mid-'90s, Burmese Lessons is a nonfiction romance set against the backdrop of violence and oppression of Burma’s military regime. Connelly, a Canadian, lived in Burma during the time and witnessed its brutality firsthand. But it wasn’t until she moved to Thailand that she met a Burmese guerrilla warrior and fell in love—and that’s when Connelly truly began to experience the depth of Burma’s struggle. Forced to reconcile her newfound love with the harsh realities of his cause, Burmese Lessons begins as a “charming travel piece,” the Globe and Mail writes but a “dark, dangerous reality quickly asserts itself.”