From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey

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9780007116812: From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey

The astonishing autobiographical story of a young man’s upbringing in a remote tribal village in Burma and his subsequent journey from his strife-torn country to the tranquil quads of Cambridge.

In lyrical prose, Pascal Khoo-thwe describes his childhood and early days as a member of the Padaung hill tribe, where ancestor worship and communion with spirits blended with the tribe’s recent conversion to Christianity. In the 1930s, Pascal’s grandfather (and head of the clan) captured an Italian Jesuit, mistaking him for a giant or a wild beast; the Jesuit in turn converted the tribe. (The Padaung are famous for their ‘giraffe women’ – so-called because their necks are ritually elongated with ornamental copper rings. Pascal’s grandmother had been exhibited in a touring Bertram Mills Circus in England as a ‘freak’.)

Paschal developed a love of the English language through listening with his father to the BBC World Service, and it was while earning money as a waiter in a restaurant in Mandalay to pay for his studies that he met the Cambridge don, John Casey, who was to prove his saviour. The brutal military regime of General Ne Win cracked down on ‘dissidents’ in the late 1980s.

Pascal’s girlfriend was raped and murdered by soldiers, and Pascal, by now a student leader, took to the jungle along with an army of students. How he was eventually rescued with Casey’s help is a dramatic part of the story, which ends when Pascal is admitted to Cambridge to study his great love – English literature.

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Review:

'A marvellous book, full of pity, yearning and wisdom; stirring and terrible in equal measure. I commend it wholeheartedly.' -- John Preston, Sunday Telegraph

'A political statement as well as a poetic lament, the book is a true work of art.' -- Mark Archer, Financial Times

'Deserves to become the Wild Swans of this century. The luminously vivid, truly remarkable autobiography of an extraordinary young man.' -- Caroline Moore, Spectator

'Extraordinary. A magical story, full of richness and subtlety, told with the instinctive touch of a true writer.' -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Flls one with awe at the resilience and determination of a young man to fight despair and never lose hope.' -- Martin Booth, Sunday Times

From the Back Cover:

In lyrical prose, Pascal Khoo-thwe describes his childhood and early days as a member of the Padaung hill tribe, where ancestor worship and communion with spirits blended with the tribe’s recent conversion to Christianity. In the 1930s, Pascal’s grandfather (and head of the clan) captured an Italian Jesuit, mistaking him for a giant or a wild beast; the Jesuit in turn converted the tribe. (The Padaung are famous for their ‘giraffe women’ – so-called because their necks are ritually elongated with ornamental copper rings. Pascal’s grandmother had been exhibited in a touring Bertram Mills Circus in England as a ‘freak’.)

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Pascal Khoo Thwe
Published by Harper Collins (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007116810 ISBN 13: 9780007116812
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Harper Collins, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 2nd. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007116810

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