A few years ago, it was a great joy to see many new indie publishers sprouted in Burmese literature scene. From these publishing houses, several emerging writers (young and old) got published. I was pleased to find out many new contemporary writers with various genres.
Last year—since the beginning of global pandemic—many publishers shared free ebooks and writers posted their continuing stories on Facebook for the readers. As the pandemic prolonged for more than a year and it was hard for some of these indie publishers. Then on February 1st of 2021, coup happened.
Yes, it is empowering and satisfying to see new revolutionary literature in poetry, articles, short stories as well as the re-emergence of previously less known revolutionary literature works read and loved by new generations. At the same time it is disheartening to know that many writers and poets had been detained and some were murdered by the junta military. Some are on the run and some go into the jungle to join ethnic armed groups.
A few big publishing houses manage to stay afloat with a release of a couple of new books a month or from the sales of previously published books. However, some indie publishers went into hiatus indefinitely and some run remotely. From the facebook pages of these publishers, I came to know that several new books are put into hold.
However, even in this difficult time, some writers and publishers try to give new materials in ebook format and certain percents or all the sales are to be donated to IDPs and People’s Defence Force (PDF—the armed wing of NUG, the legitimate government of Myanmar after the coup). It is heart fluttering to witness that many readers support these causes.
As the revolution and fights between PDF and the junta military are getting severe these day, I know it is inevitable in such time but as a lover of books and literature, it is devastating to know the closure of some of the indie publishing houses and indefinite hiatus of some magazines. So for local readers, please support them by purchasing new books and/or buying some old books from them if you’re still financially comfortable.