A Woman Invaded My Body by Yay Aye, Nathan

Yay Aye and Nathan

A Woman Invaded My Body (ကျနော့်ခန္ဓာကိုယ်ထဲမှာ မိန်းမတစ်ယောက် ကျူးကျော်နေထိုင်) consists of five short stories and an interview with Yay Aye (ရေအေး) by Nathan (နေသန်). The title story was by Yay Aye and the rests are by Nathan. In preface, Nathan explained about the term ‘playgiarism’ and its association with the stories featured in the book.

The title story, ‘A Woman Invaded Maung Maung’s Body’ is an interesting story of a young doctor having psychotic disorder. The writer told Maung Maung’s struggle with his sexuality with a dash of mystical past and present day’s psychoanalysis. Being a psychiatrist himself, Yay Aye explored multi-layer of human’s mind through his character and presented beautifully on one’s own battle with self acceptance towards his sexual orientation. It is important to accept ourselves first for who or what we truly are and from that we can look forward to be accepted by our loved ones and society.

Two stories, ‘Mrs. Fox’ by Sarah Hall and ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank’ by Nathan Englander, translated to Burmese by Nathan are gripping with absolute simplicity in writing. Nathan’s original short stories— ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘Crime & Punishment’—has their own intriguing storyline. The titles of these two are Burmese translation of stories by Kafka and Dostoevsky. Metamorphosis has a very engaging narrative. Mrs. Fox. is an exciting read and the unorthodoxy of the story makes it more appealing.

The collective work of these stories and aforementioned ‘playgiarism’ fit splendidly. The interview at the end of the book was an insightful read too. All in all, it was an enjoyable read.

I was introduced to Yay Aye by Rodney Sann Lwin’s audiobook channel on Spotify. I happened to listen to a couple of Yay Aye’s short stories and was intrigued instantly.

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