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This political tale follows a prominent family in Burma from the 1940's to the 1960's from British colonization to military rule. When WWII comes to Southeast Asia, Benny and Khin must go into hiding because Khin is part of a persecuted religion known as the Karen. Aung San, leader of the Burmese nationalists, struck a deal with British authorities. When he passes, his successor ignores the wants of the Karen and other ethnic groups to be self governed sparking the longest running civil war in recorded history. During this time, Benny and Khin's oldest child, Louisa, has achieved fame as Burma's first beauty queen leaving her to struggle with balancing fame and success with her loyalty to the Karen.
Time's a Thief
Set in New York City in the 1980's, Francesca "Chess" is a feisty smart student at Barnard. She has a blue collar past which adds to the allure of the upper class family of her toxic friend/drama queen, Kendra Marr-Lowenstein. After graduation, Chess moves into the family's home and works as an assistant to Clarice Marr, an elegant literary intellectual. Chess gets knocked around by life and it's realities including a failed affair with Clarice's son. The 2008 version of herself tells her tale as she looks back at the ramifications of opportunities both taken and missed.
Pulitzer Prize winning author, Russo, is back with an outstanding collection of four short stories filled with middle aged professionals who despite their successes are worn down by life's nuances. In Horseman a professor confronts her own life challenges while also dealing with a student who plagiarized. Voice examines a semiretired academic who is conned by his older brother into a tour of Venice supposedly to reconnect. In reality the trip is an escape for the brother who is running from a scandal involving a student with Asperger’s syndrome. Intervention, tells the story of a realtor who lives in his father's shadow and is struggling with a foreboding medical prognosis. Finally, the most raved about story is Milton and Marcus. An author who has lost his edge after dealing with his wife's illness is given another chance to revive his career by bringing one of his forgotten screenplays back to life, but complications related to doing so requires sacrificing his morals.
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