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An English Writer

An English Writer

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Author: San Lin Tun
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When an inquisitive young man finds a tattered old poetry book which had slipped behind shelves at the back of a musty second-hand book shop in Rangoon/Yangon, his curiosity about the long-forgotten author is sparked. But bookworm Lin’s quest to find out more about the life of the mysterious, unheralded colonial author takes him into a labyrinth where he discovers truth and lies. When bewildered Lin accidentally loses the book, is everything lost? This suspense-filled tale reveals heart-warming surprises, and ultimately, secrets about life remembering and immortality. The novel is mainly about the forgotten British poet/writer named C. J Richards who lived in Burma/Myanmar in colonial times and he believed himself as a Burmophile. He served as I.C.S (Indian Civil Servant) and when he retired from I.C.S service, he was a D.C (District Commissioner) and he left for England a year before Burma gained its independence in 1948. He came to Burma in 1920 to work in civil service after passing the hardest I.C.S examination. He wrote several books on Burma and contributed many monthly articles to Guardian Magazine published in Burma from 1953 to 1974 or 1975. Though he wrote several books which had much literary merit to both communities, Britain and Burma (Myanmar), people failed to recognize him. The story has three parts: one part is set in the contemporary Yangon (then called Rangoon) in 2016 and 2017 context and a young literary enthusiast named “Lin” found out unexpectedly the forgotten writer's poetry book and there is surely a good deal of time gap that led him into a quest to know more about the author’s life. The setting is quite different compared to colonial Burma and independence Myanmar (Burma), early twentieth century and 2016 which is a transitional period in Myanmar. The writer’s life is fictionalized in the novel and most of the facts are taken from his personal stories and other reference books. It is a kind of historical novel with a twist and it has comparatively constructed the two different periods in Myanmar history to convince readers, locally and abroad more about history, authorship, humanity, colonialism, and transitional development in Myanmar today.

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