Join authors Nay Phone Latt, Ma Thida and Khin Mya Zin as they discuss the state of literature in Myanmar. Karen Connelly hosts. This conversation is made possible by the support of PEN Canada.
This event is part of Found in Translation, a yearly Festival focus on the art of literary translation with the goal of increasing Canadian awareness of international talent.
Karen Connelly is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the most recent being the novel, The Change Room, published by PenguinRandomHouse. The Change Room has been called “revolutionary” and “boundary-breaking” in its treatment of women’s sexuality. Connelly is also the author of the acclaimed novel The Lizard Cage, which was the winner of Britain’s Orange Broadband New Novelist’s Prize, shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize, and compared, in the New York Times Book Review, to the work of Mandela, Solszhenityn and Mandela. Set in a prison in Myanmar, the novel was banned in that country for almost a decade and finally published there in translation last year. Touch the Dragon, her nonfiction travelogue about living in Thailand as a teenager, won the Governor General’s Award and was a Canadian bestseller for over two years. She has also received the Pat Lowther Award for her poetry. Her works have been translated into fourteen languages and published in seventeen countries. She lives with her family in Toronto and, during the summers, in Greece.
Nay Phone Latt, a blogger and activist, is Secretary of the PEN Myanmar Centre. In 2007, his blog provided coverage of the Buddhist monk-led protests, which local media were forbidden to report. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his reporting but was released in 2012 as part of a mass political pardon. In 2010, he received the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.
Dr. Ma Thida, a surgeon, human rights activist and writer, is President of the newly formed PEN Myanmar Centre. In October 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her writings in support of Aung San Suu Kyi. In 1996, she was released following political pressure from organizations including PEN International. That same year. she was the recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.
Khin Mya Zin is a short story writer. In 2012, her short story collection Clouds in the Sky and Other Stories won the Myanmar National Literary Award.