Thursday March 29th @ 6:30 PM
Join us as we welcome Have Fun in Burma author Rosalie Metro for a special evening at BookTree including reading, Q & A and book-signing. Finger food too!
Hope you can make it!
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A NOVEL (Have Fun in Burma) BRINGS MYANMAR’S ROHINGYA CRISIS HOME
Almost twenty years ago, I set off on a journey across Asia, eager to see the world and “do something good.” My boyfriend (and Kirkland native) Sean Franzel and I had just graduated from Reed College, and we decided to volunteer as English teachers for Burmese exiles and refugees living in Thailand. At that time, Burma (also known as Myanmar) was ruled by a military dictatorship, and our students were devoted followers of imprisoned pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Our eight-month stay in Thailand was a life-changing experience that set me on the course to a career as an anthropologist of education specializing in Burma/Myanmar.
Fast-forward to 2018, and Sean and I are both professors at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Our travels aren’t quite as freewheeling as they once were, but we return to our beloved Pacific Northwest frequently with our two kids. Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi has become the defacto leader of Burma and stands accused of ignoring the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in her majority-Buddhist country.
When clashes between Buddhists and Muslims broke out in Burma in 2012, I felt the need to draw attention to the dire situation in some way that went beyond writing an academic paper. I began work on a novel that I hoped would illuminate the crisis as well as the difficulties the international community faced in responding to it.
Have Fun in Burma, set during the run-up to the current humanitarian catastrophe, follows recent high-school graduate Adela Frost during her summer volunteering in a Buddhist monastery. Like many young Americans abroad in the developing world, her determination to be helpful is mediated by her struggle to grasp the complexities of the situation. She falls in love, learns to meditate, and comes up with a plan to intervene in the Buddhist-Muslim conflict. Just as my stay in Southeast Asia changed my life, Adela’s trip changes hers—but more importantly, it impacts the Burmese people around her in ways that will leave readers debating whether she’s a human rights heroine or a foolish ingénue.
Please join me on March 29 at 6:30pm @ BookTree for a reading, Q & A, and book signing.