Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Another interview of Wai Wai Nu, Activist--this one a bit better I think, though the other one quite good too.

Another interview of women's Rohingya/Arakan activist Wai Wai Nu (in Burmese)

This one possibly better as it is a woman interviewing a woman.

Pl share.


Highly recommended--interview of Wai Wai Nu, Women's Rohingya (Arakan) activist

Exceptional interview and interviewee--


In Burmese--Wai Wai Nu, former political prisoner describes her work for Arakan (Rohingya) Women's Peace Network.

Bravo--pl take care of yourself.

Someone should nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize, a kind of Burmese Malala.

Pl share this interview.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

An amazing journey--a Syrian family walks out--from the Washington Post--

An amazing journey--a Syrian family walks out--from Washington Post.

(Not unlike Burmese who walked out , but through jungles in and after 1988, but they had no GPS)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Why George Orwell is George Orwell and a genius--

He wrote this under his real name Edward Arthur Blair--and was paid 225 francs.

Read it and see how prescient he was.


Photo is of my 3 D collage Newspeak, inspired by Orwell and made from Burmese newspapers.  There is a small photo of KN in his prime in the R eye.

The pink paper is from a Chinese takeout menu and I made this in 1997.


Quote of the day--from on line bookstore--

Quote of the day--
from a book sales page--
"Light ding on bottom edge of front cover and first 75 pages. About last 100 pages look to have been a little wet. Slightly wrinkled along edge but not stained. Unmarked text."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My on line bio--


Kyi May Kaung is a Burmese-American writer based in the United States, noted for her searing depictions of life in third and fourth world countries and her renditions of strange points of view, such as the first person narrative of a stripper (The Lovers) or of a Lion who falls in love with a human princess (Beast).

She has written a novel, Wolf, short stories, novellas, monologues and a play and screenplay, Shaman, that was praised by Edward Albee.

She also writes poetry and has done dozens of readings in N. America, Europe and Southeast Asia. She has published two poetry chapbooks,Pelted with Petals: The Burmese Poems, and Tibetan Tanka, and is in the process of publishing more.

She is a winner of the William Carlos Williams Award of the Academy of American Poets and has won a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Award for Shaman, when it was still a one paragraph outline for a play called Flashback. It has since had a script-in-hand reading in Washington, DC.

Kyi was also a Pew finalist twice in Literature, for Shee-Monkey goes West, an allegory in poetry and prose, and for her two act play Shaman.

She worked for 13 years in the overseas Burmese democracy movement,as well as being a senior research analyst on air, in international broadcasting to Burma 1997-2001. She then worked as a senior analyst for The Burma Fund, affiliated with the Burmese Democratic Government in Exile.

Ms. Kaung holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in Political Economy and City Planning, respectively.

Her formal education informs the depth of understanding evident in her writings.


Your summer reading--my novella--The Lovers--set in Chile and America

1.      Originally published in Wild River Review on line, The Lovers is the story of a ballet dancer from Chile, who has to leave her native land for political reasons, and emigrate to Philadelphia, in America.
Burmese-born author Kyi May Kaung lived many years in West Philadelphia while pursuing her doctorate in Political Science.
The Lovers has vivid local color while traversing the uneasy life of political asylees. The Lovers, print edition
The Lovers, Kindle edition

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

From 2012--mentioned in Foreign Policy in Focus

From 2012, I was mentioned and my poem was published in Foreign Policy in Focus.


Let It Fly--Economics Essays--If you are in Japan, buy it here--

If you are in Japan, buy it here.

It includes an essay on studying Japanese language in Japan.


e copy of Let it Fly with the Flowers: Institute of Economics Essays, Rangoon, Burma out

with a different cover--

Special post--e book for Kindle of
Let it Fly with the Flowers:  Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma, is out (with a different cover).


The interiors of the books are exactly the same--you just have a choice of 2 different covers.  Because, as Mrs. Everton once told me after dinner, "Kyi Kyi, the little green grapes or the little red grapes?  In America you have a choice."

If you buy one e copy, the next copy will be 99 cents and the copies for Kindle are only $3.59 each for the red cover and 3.49 for the grey cover.

Enjoy the reads as much as I did.

Get stuck in the mud, stuck on an escalator, squirm in Dr. Aye Hlaing's class, try and get a good grade in Daw Kyi May Kaung's eco. history classes.

Economics as she was taught, with (in order of appearance, not importance)

Daw Khin Khin Thein, Dr. Khin Saw Nyein, Thynn Thynn Wynn, Khin Pwint Oo, Tin Hta Nu, Ma Myo Nwe, Dr. Khin Nyo Nyo, U Tha Hto, U Hla Phyu Chit, Yee May Kaung, Khin Pwint Oo and Daw Sintheingie.

Re-enter our world as MA students and undergrads.

If you wonder what economics is like, this will give you a fair idea, but it is much more mathematical now.

But we had good professors and lecturers who made sure we knew the basics well.

dee sar oke ne ahr lone ko kadaw like par te.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Since we are still in Ramadan--best opera on interracial marriage

Since we are still in Ramadan--one of the most beautiful operas ever written--death scene from Verdi's I Lombardi--

A Christian women marries a Muslim Prince and her kinsmen Crusaders seek revenge.


Additional back cover text from our Inst of Ecos, Memorial Essays

Kyi May Kaung  is happy now she caved in to a request by one of the contributors,  Hla Phyu Chit, to edit this volume.  She holds a doctorate in Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Senior Researcher for the Exile Government for many years.  Other contributors  are Sintheingie, Dr. Khin Saw Nyein, Khin Pwint Oo, Khin Khin Thein, Yee May Kaung and Ma Myo Nwe,  This is a labor of love, and we hope it shows.
Amazon Create Space edition of Let it Fly with the Flowers

Official book description for Let it Fly--Essays on the Inst of Economics, Rangoon.

Book description for Let it Fly with the Flowers:  Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma, which will appear on the Amazon book page.

In this volume, a labor of respect and love if ever there was one, award-winning writer, visual artist and trained economist Kyi May Kaung joins other Contributors in remembering many outstanding Mentors at the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, in the post-World War II period.
The times were rarely good, but we have all survived and overcome Burma's often horrendous economy and political situation.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Special Post--Inst of Ecos Rangoon Essays are out in Kindle--

Special Post--

Let it Fly with the Flowers:
--Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma, now out in Kindle edition, only $3.49

Pl support us so we may publish more semi-academic non-fiction.

This comes under the Words Sounds and Images Series Political Economy of Burma.


Quite a long on line sample so you may read sample on line too.

Pl also post reviews.  You can do this if you ever bought anything from Amazon, not necessarily a book, or this book (though better to review something you have actually read.)

You could for instance buy some crayons or something.

On behalf of all the Contributors and my Economics Colleagues--Thank you.

Note:  The print edition may take a bit longer, as I noticed 2 small typos on the back cover which need to be fixed.

Also I like to see/order the proof copy before I "pass" it.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

You may also buy my novella Black Rice at Barnes and Noble--


Just published, now under review at Amazon--Let it Fly with the Flowers: Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma, by KM Kaung et al.

Blurb from back cover of Let it Fly with the Flowers: Essays about the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma by Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.) et al.

(It took a lot of doing to put "editor" and "et al" beside my name, but I got it done. The print edition also has all the Contributors' names on the cover. As e books only have front covers, I could just put KMK et al. They limit the # of words in everything on the cover.)
Here is the blurb. Please share Widely and start generating word of mouth or BUZZ for this lovely book.
2014 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, Burma. Founded by the foremost economic historian of Burma, Dr. Aye Hlaing, who described the opening up of Burma as an export economy for rice and teak during the colonial era due to the Industrial Revolution and the Suez Canal, the Institute struggled under an oppressive government and a restricted curriculum. These essays describe our good years before the 1962 coup.

Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.)
June 18, 2015.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

For fun--Moulmein-style foodie poem in Burmese and some transliteration, transcribed in Roman script by Kyi May Kaung.

htaw putt salat te

a sain yaun

hnin zi pann ka lay kya nay yaw

hla ma hla

ahr luu kyaw ne sarr yin

ko lesterall tet mhar soe lo

sii kyo ne lair ma te lo

salat (salad) ywet ne
nwa no dain chin diip (dip) ne to sar ma lo

ko lesterall ne kair law ree (calories) daw

bair lauk tet thwwa pyee lair

ma tway wunt buu.


Called butter lettuce
like a little green rose
so pretty.

Dare not eat potato chips

as afraid my cholesterol will rise

and also not good for
my diabetes.

So ate this French onion dip

with butter


Don't dare imagine

how much my cholesterol

and caloric intake

has risen.

Kyi May Kaung.

Now you see why

1. even if you understand Burmese, it is quite challenging and tests your patience to read something in Burmese, esp. if the transliterations involve a lot of mispronunciations, which the writers do not know they are mispronouncing.

2.  Why it is difficult to translate.

3.  Why so many translations are not good.

4.  Why poetry is difficult to translate.

5.  Why it took so long to decode The Secret History of the Mongols, because it was written in Turkic language in the Mandarin script.

Have a nice day LOL as they say.


Photos show ancient Indian Brahmi script, used by Ashoka and prescurser of Tibeto-Burma languages.  (From Internet)

My book reading in the Fall--please mark on your calendar--

Special post--

Please mark on your calendars, especially if you live in the Greater D.C. area, in MD, VA or DC or points to S. and N. and/or will be visiting around that time in the Fall.

I am going to be doing a book reading on the evening of Oct 19, Monday, 2015--at a venue in MD close to the Metro or subway system.

I will "introduce" the books and read 1-3 minutes from each of my current 8 titles.

There will then be a Q and A.

You can ask me anything, from how I came up with such weird stories and characters, to if I write with a pen or on a computer, or how to self publish.

The Village Center has a big hall that seats about 50.

The event will be free and books, $5 and $10 each, for signing.

Writer David Baldacci said in a keynote address that his young daughter said, "Daddy signs books for money."


Dream nightmare of the twisted fork and the black phallus--Copyright Kyi May Kaung

It was pretty bad.  First off, Aktina Zink fell asleep on the futon.  Then she realized again, she had missed her Blink Don't Blink eye drops, which must only be used one drop per eye at night.

She checked the printed instructions, but they were not LARGE as in the first print out the dispensary/pharmacy had give her.

Instead they were so small, like ants in straight lines, that she had to bring out her magnifying glass and read with them.

But she remembered right.

They should definitely not be used with a normal eye drop medication, not within -- hours.

If dose missed, wait till next closest night and use same dose.  Keep out of reach of children.  They were meant to reduce pressure in the eye.

She must be careful.

She had definitely known an Alz person who had taken 2 pills by mistake and landed in ER (Emergency).
The nightmare was pretty bad.  They were all pretty bad.

She was married to the kingpin, but he was 7 feet 4 inches tall, i.e. 4 inches too tall.

She had already received notice that all Kingpins would be cut down to size, as they needed to be exactly 7 feet tall, not less or more.

This was the Birama Procrustean Bed.

So Aktina was worried that the 4 inches might be taken off his head or his feet.

Either way would be bad.
She went into the village on the Border.

Two young women came up to her, both about 20 years old, with their rust-colored hair in braids.

They seemed very anxious to tell her something, so Aktina went up close to them.

They whispered to her that her husband the kingpin was about to buy a house.  The bad guys had let him win at lay khaung jin (Four Animals Gambling) in the Than Highlands, and they were now going to get the eight pound bundle of money back, as a down payment on the house.

The twin women with braids said she had better go and take a quick look at it.

She did.

It was a very poor, insecure little shack, beside a
"swimming pool" that had steps cut down into it for about 50 feet.

The sides were as steep as a marble quarry and indeed, it might have been a marble quarry.

Their 4 year old went down, and she shouted at him, "It's dangerous.  Come back up at once!"

The child came up, but now it was the father.

The father was on the bed in the shack and was engaged in oral sex with a homosexual male.

She could see the black lingum looking like a piece of ebony carved into a stair bannister.

The kingpin turned around and smirked at her.

One look at the other rooms, and she knew she could not live in this place.

She knew she would be killed there, and the quarry was perfect for disposing of corpses.

She came back in the living room, and threw a heavy cut glass ashtray at the kingpin's head.

She could not understand why the foreign guests gave them ashtrays and cigarettes.

And whiskey bottles.

At the formal dinner for kingpins, she could not eat.  She was given an old twisted fork made out of gagne gagyi license plate cars in the chopshops of Yanmakone.

Beef or Boeuf or Buffalo was supposed to be a big treat, because in the premiership of Mr Tender, only the Than Hills were allowed to slaughter cattle, and the Specials at the Ceremonies.

But still the beef was too sinewy and old.

Aktina's teeth were not up to the job, as she had been conceived during WWII, and teeth are formed in the womb.

She chewed as long and as well as she could, sucked out the meat juices, and spat out the remains.

Copyright KMKaung
from The Kingpin and his Minions.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Your summer reading--Band of Flesh and 53 Red Roses by K.M.Kaung

Your summer reading, as an e book or in print.

How might it feel to be closely connected to someone for life?

How could a husband not understand earth-shaking changes in his wife's belief system?

Find out here.

If you register for Kindle Unlimited, you can read the e-edition free.


Photos -- Copyright KM Kaung

Trying to figure out why this blog is so popular in France--

Trying to figure out why my blog is popular in France--

Frenchman --de Tocqueville--who wrote the most well known book on American Democracy.


Quote--from Dee Brown (writer) wikipedia

From 1948 to 1972, he was an agriculture librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he had gained a master's degree in library science, became a professor, and raised a son, Mitchell, and daughter, Linda, with his wife Sally.
As a part-time writer, he published nine books, three fiction and six nonfiction, by the end of the 1950s. During the 1960s, he completed eight more including The Galvanized Yankees, which Brown described as requiring more research than any of his other books, and The Year of the Century: 1876, which he described as his personal favorite.
In 1971 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee became a best-seller. Many readers assumed that Brown was of Indian heritage but he was not. He did come from a family with deep history on the frontier.
In 1973, Brown and his wife retired in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he devoted his time to writing. His later works include Creek Mary's Blood, a novel telling of several generations of a family descended from one Creek woman, and Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow, which described the chicanery and romance surrounding the construction of the western railroads. His last book-length work, Way To Bright Star is a picaresque novel set during the Civil War. He never completed its sequel, which was to feature P. T. Barnum and Abraham Lincoln.
Brown died at the age of 94 in Little Rock.[3] His remains are interred in Urbana, Illinois, along with those of his wife Sally Stroud.

Dannermora Prison in Upstate NY, fr which 2 people escaped last week

previously I had only heard the name in Paul Simon's Broadway Musical--Cape Man--


Monday, June 15, 2015

Why I write --6-15-2015 by Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.)

Contrary to what a friend thinks, "What are you wishing for, you who chooses to live in a condo in a sophisticated city?"

I am not yearning for a return to the land--except when dead, and even then I might ask to be cremated. 

I am not a Christian and don't believe things have to be preserved for the Judgement Day.

But what reading Stephen Ambrose's Crazy Horse and Custer, Michael Blake's Dances with Wolves and now Dee Brown's Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, has done to me is, I feel a great sense of injustice at what was done to the Native American, and I thought it might be better now, but it is not with the fracking in N. Dakota on reservation land.

Now I do not even know how to get myself to a reservation to see for myself, or to the Black Hills or just Pine Ridge Reservation.

This same friend about ten years or fifteen years ago, accused me to "being in love with danger" for going to Thailand and the Burma-Thai Border (never got there because no one wanted to take me),

but that is not it either.

Only Sebastian Junger is "in love with danger."

I am as scaredy cat as anybody else.

I asked famous National Geographic photographer Reza in 2011 at an NEIU photo session--how he dealt with the constant threat of death and the fact that like all or most of us, he has a family too.

His reply--"Well, I suppose somewhere out there, there is a bullet with my name on it.  But I have been dodging it for so long,"

here he made zigzag motions in the air with his hands and his body

and he does have, I think, a very good sense of direction, for when a whole carload of us was lost from trying to follow the directions from the GPS at the same time as we followed what we thought was the other car

we got hopelessly lost in Chicago.

I recognized the fake leaning tower of Pisa that I had seen on my way in from O'Hare to the campus.

Finally, R. took charge and walked us in on the telephone with our host.

What I mean to say is, he did not say he would stop going on these dangerous assignments.

He did not say he would retire and cut down on work.

I can't say I will stop reading, thinking, writing and painting either.

But I do feel more needs to be done for Native Americans.

And all I know how to do is to write and paint, so I will write about this and paint their portraits.

Surprisingly, except for Toshunka Uitco who refused to have his photo taken, there are photos of almost all the main leaders of the Tribes.

I don't think one "stumbles on one's subject matter" by accident.

It may not be preordained as I don't believe in god or destiny, but there is a logical progression.

In 2011 I stopped writing about Burmese issues because I felt the wave of "Burma is changing rhetoric" was too much.

So I moved back to an emphasis on fiction.

I am naturally drawn to rebels.

My novel Wolf was originally called Burmese Rebel.

Then I picked up again my Genghis reading which I started in Philadelphia about 1994 when I lived in a rental upstairs of this same friend.

How I got to reading again of the Native Americans (I read Ambrose in about 2001) is there are certain similarities between Plains Indians and the grassland Mongols.

And I just wanted to read all these books that I had heard so much about.

No, I don't want to return to the wild, I don't even want to return to Birama--

but I do want to see some kind of justice done, and the only way is through fiction.

People may not know this, but writers are motivated by a lot of things.

In the case of Dominique Dunne, he wrote that the man (boyfriend?) who strangled and killed his daughter got away with a very light sentence.

For a while Dominique and his son stalked this man--then he decided to do it another way.

He started his TV program on killers who got away.

He has even written one novel he calls fiction as memoir, in which he describes his role in covering the OJ Simpson trial.

He also wrote about a murder in the extended JFK family.

He said that "fiction has a way of shaking free fact"

and while he was promoting this book, he was approached by many people who knew the murderer.

I follow his philosophy of writing.

I think few people know what makes me tick, except for one person whose name I do not recognize at all, who very perceptively analyzed my Goose poem.

I did not even think in such depth when I saw the geese flying and wrote it.

I am afraid to say it, but sometimes friends and relatives, even close relatives are amazingly twisted in their thinking, and very personalized.

And strangers too.

One classmate thought I wrote about a Hispanic woman presdt. of the USA during 9/11 (in my story Saving the World Bit by Bit) because I wanted to be presdt. of the USA myself. 

Ha ha--that is not possible for the foreign-born, even for The Philanthropist.

And how I "chose to live in a condo in a sophisticated city" was I came here for a job broadcasting to Burma, bc I thought I would give it three years.

I bought my own place bc I took one month's leave without pay in 1999 to write, and I decided if the turkeys at work could buy their own place, so could I.

Nien Cheng told us in person she had --$$ in blue chip funds when she came to the USA, and wrote Life and Death in Shanghai in a condo.

What's so bad about a small condo?

I don't get it.

I don't say "You who choose to live in an elegant townhouse in an equally sophisticated city."

I have millionaire friends, but I am just happy if they choose to do some social justice work.

In Boulder, CO, one musician told me "Everyone is a liberal here, but it all stops at private property."

and my Burmese-Muslim friend said,

"Well, except for the Native Americans, everyone came from somewhere else."

It still does not change the fact that this nation was based on a planned and systemic mass genocide.

My City Planning professor called it--Righting Ancient Wrongs.

Copyright KMKaung

Photos from 2011

Candle is sacred fire I brought from Chicago, from a Native American Teacher.


Burl Ives-Ave Maria