From the land of green ghosts: a Burmese odyssey

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
HarperCollins,
Pub. Date:
[2002]
Edition:
1st ed.
Language:
English
Description
Winner of the 2002 Kiriyama Prize in Nonfiction

In 1988 Dr John Casey, a Cambridge don visiting Burma, was told of a waiter in Mandalay with a passion for the works of James Joyce. Intrigued by this unlikely story, he visited the restaurant, where he met Pascal Khoo Thwe. The encounter was to change both their lives.

Pascal grew up as a member of the tiny, remote Kayan Padaung tribe, famous for their 'giraffenecked' women. The Padaung practiced a combination of ancient animist and Buddhist customs mixed with the Catholicism introduced by Italian missionaries. Theirs was a dream culture, a world in which ancestors were worshipped and ghosts were a constant presence. Pascal was the first member of his community ever to study English at university. But in Burma, English books were rare, and independent thought was discouraged. Photocopies of the few approved texts would be passed from student to student, while tuition consisted of lecturers reciting essays that the students learned by rote.

Within a few months of his chance meeting with Dr Casey, Pascal's world lay in ruins. Successive economic crises brought about by Burma's military dictatorship meant he had to give up his studies. The regime's repression grew more brutal, and Pascal's student-lover, who had become involved in the movement for democracy, was arrested, raped and finally murdered by the armed forces. Pascal fled to the jungle, becoming a guerrilla fighter in the life-or-death struggle against the government and seeing many of his friends and comrades die in battle. At a moment of desperation, he remembered the Englishman he had met in Mandalay and wrote him a letter, with little expectation of ever receiving a reply.

Miraculously, the letter reached its destination on the other side of the world. Not only that, it would lead to Pascal's being rescued from the jungle and enrolling to study English at Cambridge University, the first Burmese tribesman ever to do so.

From the Land of Green Ghosts is the autobiographical tale of a remarkable triumph of hope over despair, and of an encounter between two very different worlds. Hauntingly and poetically written, it unforgettably evokes the realities of life in modern-day Burma and one young man's long journey to freedom despite almost unimaginable odds.

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ISBN:
9780060505226
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDd9011eb3-47aa-1224-ce95-995fc0df0bd3
Grouping Titlefrom the land of green ghosts a burmese odyssey
Grouping Authorkhoo thwe pascal
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-10-27 22:54:08PM
Last Indexed2019-12-11 03:19:19AM

Solr Details

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authorKhoo Thwe, Pascal, 1967-
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literary_form_fullNon Fiction
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record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b21249453BookBooks1st ed.EnglishHarperCollins, [2002]xvi, 304 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, 1 map, portraits ; 24 cm
recordtypegrouped_work
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b21249453.i34583373On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue2, 101, 102, 104
subject_facetAutobiographies
Biographies
Guerrillas -- Burma -- Biography
Khoo Thwe, Pascal, -- 1967-
Myanmar -- History -- 1948-
Padaung (Burmese people) -- Biography
title_displayFrom the land of green ghosts : a Burmese odyssey
title_fullFrom the land of green ghosts : a Burmese odyssey / Pascal Khoo Thwe
title_shortFrom the land of green ghosts
title_suba Burmese odyssey
topic_facetGuerrillas
History
Khoo Thwe, Pascal
Padaung (Burmese people)