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July 13 , 2007

Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts

Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition


Until 2012, Myanmar had been ruled for fifty years by one of the most paranoid and repressive censorship regimes in history. The military junta enforced strict reading and writing restrictions in line with their socialist ideology and was terrified of writers who could trigger change.

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Transition has lifted the worst restrictions, initiating a new era in the country's literature and literary culture. Inspired by Ellen Wiles's hunt for contemporary writing while living in Myanmar in 2013, this book explores the experiences and recent output of nine Myanmar writers spanning three generations, featuring interviews and English-language translations of their work, along with political, legal, and artistic analyses. Wiles includes men and women, fiction and poetry, capturing the effects of political and cultural change as they rippled across different groups and genres. Her work contributes both to the general study of art under censorship and beyond to Myanmar's democratic renaissance.

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