“Craig wields powerful and vivid prose to illuminate a country and a family trapped not only by war and revolution, but also by desire and loss.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
Miss Burma tells the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louisa. After attending school in Calcutta, Benny settles in Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and falls in love with Khin, a woman who is part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group, the Karen. World War II comes to Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin must go into hiding in the eastern part of the country during the Japanese occupation, beginning a journey that will lead them to change the country’s history.
Years later, Benny and Khin’s eldest child, Louisa, has a danger-filled, tempestuous childhood and reaches prominence as Burma’s first beauty queen soon before the country falls to dictatorship. As Louisa navigates her newfound fame, she is forced to reckon with her family’s past, the West’s ongoing covert dealings in her country, and her own loyalty to the cause of the Karen people.
Based on the story of the author’s mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is a captivating portrait of how modern Burma came to be and of the ordinary people swept up in the struggle for self-determination and freedom.
“At once beautiful and heartbreaking . . . An incredible family saga.” —Refinery29
“Miss Burma charts both a political history and a deeply personal one—and of those incendiary moments when private and public motivations overlap.” —Los Angeles Times