“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? …we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”— Franz Kafka
Reviews on Asian Literature
First, They Erased Our Name: A Rohingya Speaks is a heartbreaking book narrated by a Rohingya on his life from his birth to becoming a refugee. Written by Habiburahman (Habib), Sophie Ansel and translated into English by Andrea Reece, this is such an important book depicting the systematic discrimination and organized massacres towards Rohingya People in Myanmar.
Set in Thailand’s turbulent time in the 70’s, A Good True Thai by Sunisa Manning tells a striking story of three students from different backgrounds. Cleverly illustrated, the intricacies of class, racial and ideological are presented through the historical events of the student movement.
With current situation in my country, I can’t read any fiction book. I try to read about similar issues in other countries. A few days ago, I got my hands on Unfree Speech by Joshua Wong.
From the old Burma in its early civilization to today’s modern Burma, Thant Myint-U’s latest book, The Hidden History of Burma, covered briefly on the issues from ancient monarchy to the colonial years and thoroughly on post colonial days to socialist party years. Then the writer extensively tells the changes of Burma’s political landscape in past two decades.