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True Love and Bartholomew
Rebels on the Burmese Border

$38.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521399203

$ 38.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The Karen, one of Burma's many minority peoples, have been waging an increasingly desperate war for autonomy against the Burmese government since 1949. Karen society in Burma has been little studied since the 1920s, and recent writers have been forced (by Burma's "closed door" policies) to concentrate on Karen refugee communities in Thailand. This book is a portrait of an ancient culture remolded to the purposes of ethnic rebellion. The picture is enriched with historical comparisons and is based on portraits of individual Karen as they struggle to defend their way of life and to preserve their belief in their own independence. There are chapters on music, food, love, the patterns of the rebels' forest and river life, on the Karen military hierarchy and its weaponry, on women and on mercenaries, on the language and the symbols of rebel nationalism. Jonathan Falla has led a diverse life. He attended the University of Cambridge and is the founder of the Cambridge Poetry Society. He has worked in Indonesia and Uganda and has written several plays, being named one of Britain's Most Promising Playwrights in 1983. Falla spent an illegal year in Burma living with the Karen rebels. Currently, he lives in Scotland and works as a nurse.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Both the poignancy and the sense of urgency pervade the text of this poetic and deeply felt book. The reader will be captivated and, long after finishing it, haunted by many vivid images." Journal of Asian and African Studies

    "His absorbing account, with its wealth of research and firsthand observation, is far more than a travelogue and merits its description as a "portrait of an ancient culture remolded to the purposes of a modern ethnic rebellion." Times Literary Supplement

    "Because of his friendships, Mr. Falla has written a truly personal, careful and warm account of his time with the Karen on the Thai Burmese border, but not without a certain degree of skepticism...when he introduces us to the main characters, all this anthropology comes to life ." New York Times Book Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521399203
    • length: 428 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Nigel Barley
    1. A bronze drum
    2. Boar tusk's children
    3. White collar flowerland
    4. True love at home
    5. Water child, land child
    6. A simple man
    7. Fighting mean, fighting clean
    8. Great lake and the elephant man
    9. Bartholomew's borders
    10. The three seasons
    Interlude: from the Kok River
    11. Last of the longhouses
    12. A delicate bamboo tongue
    13. True love in love
    14. Fermented monkey faeces
    15. Perfect hosts
    16. Old guard, young turks
    17. True love and white rock
    18. Insurgents in a landscape
    19. True love and sudden death
    20. Portraits

  • Author

    Jonathan Falla

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