Monday, March 30, 2015

Special post--poem Lay Pan by ko ko thett

Special post--just got permission for this, so posting straight away--

Lay Pan by ko ko thet--

posting with permission.  He says--

'feel free to share ''air flower'' of course,  ေလပန္း also means ''verbal diarrhea "'

In my opinion, ko ko thett is best poet writing in both Burmese and English and best literary translator for miles around.

See if you agree--


    ေလပန္း

    သင္းၾကိဳင္ ဝတ္မံႈ မာလာထံု နတ္ျပည္ေမႊး
    ဇီဇဝါ ရဲ့ မပီကလာ ဇယားအက်ဥ္းေလး
    ကန္႕ေကာ္ရဲ့ စိန္ပန္း ဖလန္းဖလန္းထေနသူ
    ငု ရဲ့ပိေတာက္၊ ဆံေထာက္နဲ႕ စပယ္ျဖဴ
    ပုန္းညက္ရဲ့ မမုန္းရက္တဲ့ ဆူးမဲ့ ႏွင္းဆီ
     ေသာ္ကကို အေပၚက ခြ ထားတဲ့ အပူေဇာ္ခံ စြယ္ေတာ္
    ရင္ခတ္ရဲ့ ရင္ဘတ္ေပၚက လိႈင္းလုံး ေဆးမွင္ေၾကာင္ၾကီးေတြ
    သဇင္နဲ႕ ခြါညိဳ ကို ျပာသိုလို ထားပစ္ခဲ့သူ
    ျမတ္ေလးထက္ ေလးျမတ္၊ မုေလးထက္ ေလးပင္
    မခ်စ္ျပင္ျပင္ မၾကင္နာေလသူမို႕
    ဂမုန္း ကို မုန္း  ယင္းမာကို မာ အခ်စ္သစ္ရွာသူ
    အင္ၾကင္းက ျပန္လြမ္းရတဲ့ သရဖီ
    ထာဝရ အႏြမ္းမဲ့၊ အခန္းမဲ့ ခေရ
    ကဗြီးသားနဲ႕ ထုထားတဲ့ ေရႊကႏုတ္ပန္း
    ဘယ္ေနရာေရာက္ေရာက္ ပစ္တိုင္းေထာင္ ခ်ယ္ရီ
    ေလထဲက ေရကို ယူယူေသာက္တတ္တဲ့ ကႏၱာရ ေဇာင္းၾကမ္း
    မိုးေသာက္ခ်ိန္မွာေတာ့ ပဒုမၼာၾကာလို အျမဲ ရႊဲရႊဲစို
    အခ်ိန္မေရြး၊ ရာသီမေရြး၊ ေနရာမေရြး
    ပြင့္ခ်င္ရက္ လက္တို႕

    --
    KKt
    ko ko thett







Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kyi May Kaung's review of Stephen Baxter's Behemoth--

Fantastic trip, backwards or is it forwards, and to another planet, written in lyrical, descriptive prose.

I have never read anything by Stephen Baxter before, and how I got to this was from trying to find out what it must have been like for the first humans to cross the Bering Land Bridge from Asia into the Americas.  I expected no more than a rather insipid strained reconstruction of archaeological findings. 

Instead, I was taken on a fabulous ride.

Everything Baxter writes here is perfectly credible and logical, and it is all presented from "inside the head" of a major mammoth character.

In the time line, it is a bit like A Canticle for Saint Leibowitz, in that the 3 novels are  separated by aeons of time, yet all part of one Cycle, as the mammoths call it.

Baxter has created the mammoths own epic creation story, and it is told as the mammoths talk to each other, sometimes by stomping on the ground.

This novel creates so beautifully the meaning of the old adage "Elephants have long memories."  Perhaps it is easier for me to suspend disbelief, as I grew up on elephant stories, such as from the Buddhist jataka, where the Buddha was once an elephant king.  And in other incarnations, he was always surrounded by elephants and other animals.

I must say the mammoth characters are all superbly rounded, and much more believable than many homo sapiens sapiens characters written by some writers.

You can't help but root for Silverhair, Longtusk and Icebones, Silverhair's daughter.

The writing is very visual and descriptive, but you are never bored.

The landscape is part of the story, and details of landscape are given at the moment, for instance, that the mammoth characters encounter difficulties on their trek, such as glaciers, volcanoes, Blood Weeds and Breathing Trees.

And there are just not mammoths, but also mastadon(t)s, and differently evolved mammoths.

It is not just whimsical, and God-forbid, not cute at all, but very deep, and displays a deep sadness at what humans have done to the world and are still doing to it.

The humans are called The Lost, and Baxter has only one Neanderathal or Neandertal left.

The new humans he calls "Firehead", and in the second story, they grow more and more sinister and the politics and interpersonal relationships of Bedrock, Crocus, the Shaman and Longtusks become intricately interlinked.

There is a lot of conflict and violence.

Very little sex, as this was meant to be for a Young Adult audience.

He also knows a lot about elephants.

It gave me an idea to write--but I cannot talk about it here.

I am now a card-carrying Stephen Baxter fan-

Wow!  I don't understand why it has not been made into a movie, but I hope it will not be Disneyfied.  That would be almost as bad a disaster as the disasters portrayed in the three  novels.

Copyright KMKaung
3-29-2015



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Power and Plenty, by Ronald Findlay and Kevin O'Rourke

Highly recommended The Power of Plenty by Drs. Ronald Findlay and Kevin O'Rourke

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8493.html

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review by NNA of my novella The Rider of Crocodiles by K.M.Kaung

Review of The Rider of Crocodiles

By K.M.Kaung



This is my first time reading of this author K.M.Kaung novella even though it is not her first book of publication.

To my opinion, Ms Kaung’s novella “Rider of Crocodiles” is a kind of a bedtime Legendary story which is a factual fiction for all time.  As a novella, it could not give very details in some parts as I expected, yet from the night scene of invasion force entering into the Ayuthia area from northwest, I felt empathy for the people’s tears and fear and unpleasant scene of war.         

However, my curiosity was aroused to dig out more about the descendants of Saman, rider of crocodiles, if I get a chance to visit Central Myanmar after all.  I recommend this book to the parents for those telling the legendary stories to their children and surely they will love it.

NNA
(English grammar not edited)

.   The Rider of Crocodiles
Dr. Kaung was traveling in Thailand when a colleague told her his great great grandfather was not killed in Ayuthia in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, as he knew how to ride crocodiles.
https://www.createspace.com/4738699?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026
print edition
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KZ6W8I6

Monday, March 23, 2015

Important post--on line compilation of all UN Human Rights Rapporteur's Reports on Burma to date--Read them

Important post--

All UN Human Rights Rapporteurs Reports, compiled on line.

Read them!

http://www.burmalibrary.org/show.php?cat=932

Listen to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman--

I cannot recommend highly enough--Democracy Now with Amy Goodman--only in depth radio TV interviews anywhere--

I do not know why vaunted Burmese have not been interviewed by her.  She seems to be one of few journalists who really does her homework,

not some bumbling airhead.

KMKaung
3-23-2015

Qin Shi Huaung Ti--Chinese emperor--fr Burmese wikipedia

http://my.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E1%80%9B%E1%80%BE%E1%80%AE%E1%80%9F%E1%80%BD%E1%80%99%E1%80%BA%E1%80%90%E1%80%AE

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thanks for buying my books--from my FB page


Someone bought some of my books in Japan via Kindle--it may be someone who visited my blog--I mean my real blog blog, not this FB.

In any case, thank you so much, and I hope you review the book/s too on Kindle.

I always would like feedback--even if you hated the book.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Beginning of my Introduction to Let the Shit Fly with the Flowers: A Collection of Essays from the Institute of Economics, Rangoon.

Beginning of my Introduction to Let the Shit Fly with the Flowers:  A Collection of Essays from the Institute of Economics, Rangoon. 

Last year I had the good fortune to publish several novellas and short story collections, some of them set in Burma, some not.
In the euphoria of the moment, feeling I had mastered the supply side of the publication process on line, I offered to publish scholarly or semi-scholarly articles to two groups of people:
1.     A group I will call the Informal Rohingya Scholars Group.
2.     My former colleagues and students from the Institute of Economics, Rangoon, 1950s to about 1980.
The IRSG and our discussions via e-mail are at this point indefinitely stalled, as my co-editor and facilitator’s book proposal on behalf of all members was rejected by an academic press.  But I am proud to say that I did help Columbia University in New York City in Sept 2012 find specialists to speak, at a Rohingya Conference in the very auditorium in which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was to be interviewed by journalist Ann Curry and few days later, the Low Library.
Five hundred people registered and Nobel Laureate A.K. Sen gave the keynote address.  The University took the word “Rohingya” (a sub-group of Burmese Muslims) entirely out of the title of the presentation, but the specialists all spoke about the Rohingya issue, and I am glad that almost all my suggestions for invitations were acted on, in one case (Dr. Maung Zarni’s), he was flown in from Asia.
Prof. Sen was invited directly by the University and the Convenor, but the rest who constituted about 50% of the panel were those suggested by me.  I only regret that Chris Lewa who has focused on Western Burma deliberately since at least 2001, when I first met her, was unable to come due to her busy schedule.
In my life, I often do or agree to things because I think they will not work out.
Two cases in point were the 1969 scholarship I received to study Economic Planning in Warsaw, Poland, and the scholarship I received twenty years later to study in the USA.
But those are different stories.
But when I put out feelers about an Institute of Economics, Rangoon, alt-memorial edition of essays, it turned out that almost all my friends submitted essays or poems, some 2-3 items each.
So I was stuck, and since I gave me word (through U Hla Hpyu Chit) I have had to go through with it.
It is my pleasure now to say that I am in process of putting together and formatting the final manuscript and so far it is about 50% complete too.


KMKaung
3-20-2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Glowing review by Mya Win of KM Kaung's novella FGM--

 I just read your novella FGM and loved it.  It said volume 2 so I was wondering if there volume 1 that I did not know about?  (No, # refers to novellas)
    In the Western world, I heard and read about this FGM, but never had I come across anyone who brought forth (fiction) about this, as it still happens in several countries.  FGM is to point out the violation of women's human rights.
    In my own experience while I was in Saudi Arabia for business two years ago (yes wearing a burka covering from head to toe) and hijab to cover my head. Security guard in the office, came to me and pointed me to the back of the room (in Arabic) and I realized that I did not belong in the front of the office. I needed to go to a special room where all the ladies hung out. I felt I was a second class citizen and was so fed up that I did not even go out to eat as 1) I had to put the whole costume each time,  2) I needed to be accompanied by a man (husband or relative) Luckily, my cab had dark windows, when the driver came to pick me up at the airport.

    I felt the same way where men had privileges to act and do anything they wanted and got away with it in that culture. I  experienced it myself.

Your book was intense, bold and very interesting - the reason I'd wanted to read it in the first place.

I liked the way you conveyed FGM  through the eyes Dr. Aset as an educated professional.  Ramesh' life was a series of convoluted relationships among his family members, including incest and I was not sure how it ended.  Is there a sequel to this?  (No, not now).
    I know other readers will find this story as intriguing as I did.

Good job and keep on writing.

Review by Mya Win
   

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Review by KSM of my novella Home is Where?



A Review by Kauk Site Ma of “Home is where? House Warming & My Potsdam”
by K.M. Kaung


It so touched my heart when I read the Dedication—which says

To all far from home; and far from home without knowing it.

Reading this story  took me back to my days when I worked for people who were displaced, parted from their families, who lost their homes, left their places of origin, and are living in a host country, which everyone knows is temporary.

Those displaced people had a home that belonged to them, it does not matter how big or small, how grand or not as Dr. Kaung says:

I always thought that I knew exactly where home was, but now in America I am not so sure.  In Burma I had a home. It wasn’t big. It wasn’t grand, but it was mine.

The people I worked with  knew where their homes were—but they cannot go back—for various reasons.

 Another quote from Dr. Kaung:

My mother died and it made no sense returning when she was dead, when I never went when she was alive.

Living away from their homes made the refugees I worked with feel in limbo; seeming neither here nor there, and their future must have seemed difficult and distant to them. 

Dr. Kaung shows the darker side of moving abroad in her story.

She shows and does not just tell.

*

I learned from my own mother that she had to leave the place she had lived in with her dear family and loved, because the house was bombed, during World War II. 

They were neglected and close and distant relatives ignored them.

I am wondering, shall I take the advice my mother gave us , her children? 

She used to say “A home is not to be seen as just a physical place.  It is a place of safety which you can take with you wherever you go, because as time passes the physical home becomes more and more distant to you all and those hours you remember are gone.”

My mother taught us to keep in mind the challenges and differences that will be waiting for us, there in the place which we once we used to call “a home.”

Reviewed by

Kauk Sike Ma
3-8-2015

Saturday, March 07, 2015

New reduced price for my novella FGM, about the mutilation of women--

New reduced price for my novella FGM--about the mutilation of women--an unusual piece of fiction about a shocking cultural practice--

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KJ3FUOE

New reduced Kindle price for my The Lovers--

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JX8NZRU

Kindle edition of my Home is Where now out--

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UC9WQ3I#reader_B00UC9WQ3I

Note to my story Red Pigeon, coming soon --

Note to my short story, Red Pigeon, coming soon--

I wrote this after being obliged to keep this unusual dream in my head for 2 full days, as at the time I had a highly stressful job in international radio on M St. in Washington, DC.   I even shared this story at work with my colleague, writer/artist/musician/former movie director, U Win Pe, and he said, “Why Sayama (Teacher), this dream is a complete short story already.”  So I wrote it down when my off days came around.  The night I had this dream, I was walking along M Street after work, when I saw a group of about 4 or 5 office workers, staring over the 3 foot fence, at something on the grass.  It turned out to be an ordinary grey pigeon, with its beak canted over on the lawn, obviously dying.  I watched a while, then went on to the Metro or subway station at Dupont Circle.  I did not know how to provide first aid to a dying bird.

KMKaung
3-7-2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

Excerpt from my novella My Potsdam

Excerpt from My Potsdam, out soon on Amazon--

"I began seeing Hiroshi on a regular basis. 
I found he had an obsession with The Wall and had walked its whole length a year before it fell, taking photographs of the guards and the guard towers."

Copyright KMKaung
3-6-2015 

New Kindle prices for my published fiction--

New Kindle prices for my short stories and novellas--

Black Rice
FGM
The Lovers--and
Dancing like a Peacock

will now be $4.99 each, from $9.99

No Crib for a Bed--(3 stories) will be $9.99

Band of Flesh (2 stories) will be $9.99

and so will Rider of Crocodiles.

The first 4 prices will be in effect in 12-24 hours, says Amazon.

I truly think if you missed my stories, you will have missed many good stories, which you cannot find anywhere else.

KMKaung
3-6-2015
www.kmkaung.com
 Bagel--wheat and papier mache
 Batiks
 DC night--by KM Kaung

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Excerpt from my novella--My Potsdam--out soon in paperback--


It was the day after the 3rd of October, 2005, the 15th anniversary of German Reunification.
I was waiting as usual at the head of Glienicke Bridge, on the Berlin side, for the tour bus to come in, so I could step on and begin my guide duties for the day.
*
I am very good at languages, speaking German, English, Polish, Hungarian and Russian fluently.
I know all the little dates, and the big dates, about Berlin, Potsdam and Germany.
Each tour (I only do one a day) is like a performance.
They exhaust me and so, giving as I do more than one hundred percent, I only do one tour a day and only work for one company which picks up tourists at its pick-up point on the Kurfurstendamm or Ku’damm, which was the most fashionable street in West Berlin before Reunification.
Now it is Potsdamer Place, with the new soaring clear blue glass tent of the Sony Center, which was no-man’s land in the days of the Wall, which is the main tourist attraction.
*
Copyright KMKaung
3-4-2015

Quote from my novella--Home is Where? Out soon--



"Even though my skin is dark, I like to wear only bright colors like red, orange and emerald. 
Maroon and purple—No!
*
The worst thing was, the clothes smelled of her.  (My Aunt Florence)
*
They smelled of someone who had been engaged too long, then married and divorced too fast, then widowed after she was divorced. 
They smelled of someone who had lived almost all her life as a boarder in a Catholic convent." 

Copyright KM Kyi May Kaung​
3-4-2015

www.kmkaung.com

Sunday, March 01, 2015

On Dr. Hla Myint--another excerpt from IER att edition --edited by me--

Excerpt from Let the Shit Fly with the Flowers--an alt-edition--essays about IER.

This excerpt is by Daw Khin Khin Thein--Don't be fooled by her honesty about her grades--She went to LSE, and I have known people who failed the entrance exams there.  She received her Masters there.

I consider KKT one of the most insightful people I have ever met.

Here she talks about her own mentor Dr. Hla Myint--

"While paying obeisance to all my former teachers irrespective of subject studied, I will dwell more on those teachers who were leading lights in my student life:
 First and foremost, there was Saya U Hla Myint who largely shaped my studies. 
An icon of development economics and welfare economics since well before he was  internationally hailed, he advised Southeast Asian economies, then rife with import-substitution strategies, to adopt export-orientation strategies of development.


Dr. Hla Myint served in Burma, after his post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics, as economics professor at the University of Rangoon from 1945 to 1952, and again as rector from 1958 to 1962.   
He introduced a more liberal curriculum for honors Economics at the Social Science Institute under the University of Rangoon, enabling students to have a year’s extra study of a Humanities subject such as History or Political Science, while specializing in  Economics. 
 An idealist and pioneer for quality education, he told us honors students that he did not want to be known as a teacher of mediocrities. I hope I at least barely escaped this categorization, getting once a (C+), once (B-), but finally an (A) for an essay on the concept and derivation of the efficiency locus in production, supplementing  groundwork in the standard textbooks of Stigler, Benham etc. with greater in-depth knowledge from relevant books and journals from the Institute library. Presumably this also was what Saya wanted : self reliance.
He told me to read out my essay to my classmates, two newly appointed tutors.
Often also, it was my turn to explain something Saya asked me to, on the seminar-room blackboard."

Khin Khin Thein.

Excerpt from Institute of Economics, Rangoon, alt edition--

Excerpt from upcoming Let the Shit Fly with the Flowers:  Essays from Institute of Economics, Rangoon--

which I am editing.

Since it is an alt-edition, I decided to include some of the s- h- i- t, but only I am responsible for it.

The other contributors sent very nice pieces, thank you.

Here is an excerpt from one piece contributed by Daw Khin Khin Thein, who studied at the famous LSE or London School of Economics.
kmk

"However, the purpose now being to honor the near-centenary Economics Department initially under Rangoon University, I shall outline only my teachers in Economics at the Social Science Institute under the University of Rangoon which preceded the autonomous university of the Institute of Economics, established in 1964 (after the military coup of 1962 by General Ne Win).

Khin Khin Thein

I added the parenthesis--kmk
3-1-2015