ELLE'S LETTRES: JUNE
Our readers' nonfiction picks for the month
May 11, 2010 1:00 p.m.
Burmese Lessons, by Karen Connelly
While in Burma doing research for a book, Connelly meets and falls into a passionate love affair with a Burmese revolutionary. With sharp insights and often painful moments of clarity, she attempts to mold herself into the potential role of wife to a man who is heart-and-soul part of something larger than himself and much larger and more consuming than their relationship: the fight for Burmese democracy and freedom. It is a testament to ConnellyAlta Dawson, Los Gatos, CA
Connelly gives us a clear but subtly written story of her travels through Burma as it underwent one of its many periods of political upheaval, falling in love with a guerrilla officer in the process. Connelly does not make the mistake so many western writers do of putting herself at the center of the narrative. Instead, she shows the horrible challenges facing the Burmese people, acknowledging that her identity as a white, Western woman protects her from experiencing the true horror of their lives.Lore A. Guilmartin, Houston, TX