Insight with Wendy Law-Yone: A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma

Talk Tuesday 11 June 2013, 7:00 PM

In 1948, as Burma gained independence, a young man named Ed Law-Yone founded The Nation newspaper. It went on to become Burma’s leading English-language daily and a hugely influential voice in the country. Ed Law-Yone, the editor and proprietor, became a major player within the political elite, but following the military coup of 1962 the paper was closed and he was imprisoned.

After five years he fled to Thailand to form a government–in-exile and to try to ignite a revolution. He was unsuccessful and later settled in the US where he died in 1980. He did not live to see the Burma he dreamed of but he entrusted his daughter, Wendy Law-Yone, to tell his remarkable story.

It was not until 20 years after his death that Wendy Law-Yone found the confidence to unearth her father’s manuscripts. She will be joining us in conversation with the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall to talk about the unique portrait of Burma she discovered.

Wendy Law-Yone was born in Mandalay, Burma, in 1947. She fled after the 1962 coup, settling in the US where she published two novels The Coffin Tree and Irrawaddy Tango. She came to the UK on a David T.K. Wong creative writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia, and has been here ever since. In 2010 she published her third novel The Road to Wanting and her memoir Golden Parasol: A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma has just been released.