“Altogether this book is much more than the mere translation of a representative work: it reveals a too well hidden culture, its refinement and its depth.”
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
“(Not Out of Hate) is complemented well by Robert Vore’s interesting afterword. Vore draws a number of parallels between Ma Ma Lay’s novel and George Orwell’s earlier Burmese Days, in which Orwell, stationed in lower Burma when Ma Ma Lay was growing up there, makes a number of similar observations about British colonial rule.”
Asian Studies Review
Not Out of Hate—published in Burmese in 1955 and set in 1939–42—was Ma Ma Lay’s fifth novel and one that further cemented her status as one of twentieth-century Burma’s foremost writers and voices for change. A journalist by trade, Lay applied her straightforward observational style with compassion and purpose to the story of Way Way, a teenage village girl whose quiet life assisting her father in his rice-brokerage business is disrupted by the arrival of U Saw Han, the cosmopolitan Burmese rice trader twenty years her senior. When she first encounters him, Way Way is entranced by his Western furnishings, servants, and mannerisms. The two marry, but before long, it becomes clear that U Saw Han’s love is a stifling one that seeks to obliterate her traditional ways.
Not Out of Hate was enormously popular in Burma and went through several editions in the 1950s and 1960s. When Ohio University Press published its English translation, in 1991, it became the first significant fictional account of prewar Burma available in English since George Orwell’s Burmese Days, and provided a Burmese counterpoint to Orwell’s novel. Translated into English here for the first time, the novel is an engaging drama, finely observed work of social realism, and stirring rejection of Western cultural dominance.
Ma Ma Lay (1917–1982) was twentieth-century Burma’s foremost female author and one of its preeminent voices for change. A journalist and unflagging advocate for the equal participation of women in intellectual and political life, she worked tirelessly and at personal expense to combat injustice, government corruption, and hypocrisy. Her many novels and stories were known for engagingly depicting the lives of everyday Burmese, which played out in her lasting popularity with the reading public. More info →
Save 20% ($21.56)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Burma’s Mass Lay Meditation Movement: Buddhism and the Cultural Construction of Power describes a transformation in Buddhist practice in contemporary Burma. This revitalization movement has had real consequences for how the oppressive military junta, in power since the early 1960s, governs the country.Drawing
In late 1930, on a secluded mountain overlooking the rural paddy fields of British Burma, a peasant leader named Saya San crowned himself King and inaugurated a series of uprisings that would later erupt into one of the largest anti-colonial rebellions in Southeast Asian history.
This diary, begun after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and covering the invasion of Burma up to June 1942, is a moving account of the dilemmas faced by the well-loved and prolific Burmese author Theippan Maung Wa (a pseudonym of U Sein Tin) and his family. At the time of the Japanese invasion, U Sein Tin was deputy secretary in the Ministry of Home and Defense Affairs.
Phu Rieng was one of many French rubber plantations in colonial Vietnam; Tran Tu Binh was one of 17,606 laborers brought to work there in 1927, and his memoir is a straightforward, emotionally searing account of how one Vietnamese youth became involved in revolutionary politics. The connection between this early experience and later activities of the author becomes clear as we learn that Tran Tu Binh survived imprisonment on Con Son island to help engineer the general uprising in Hanoi in 1945.
Sign up to be notified when new Southeast Asian Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.