Date of Award
Creative writing, Nonfiction, Fiction
Zat Lun: A Family History is a project consisting of multiple and interwoven narrative threads that question the boundaries of literary nonfiction: Where does fiction end and nonfiction begin? What stories do we believe to be true? Why do we believe them? The book is in part a subversive response to a lifetime of being asked to act as an interpreter and representative of “my country,” “my people,” and “my culture.” In researching and writing the book, I have been less concerned with uncovering or piecing together the “truth” or “reality” of my family history or the history of Burma/Myanmar, and more concerned with finding a language and form that will allow me to write about identity and alterity on my own terms. The book consists of interwoven narrative threads traversing time and place: the first and second threads follow my grandparents and greatgrandparents from British colonization to World War II and its aftermath, the third thread follows my parents’ last years in Burma/Myanmar, leading up to the 8888 Uprising and the violent coup that followed, and the last thread follows my family’s immigration to the United States and my coming to adulthood here. The non-linear, associative, and digressive logic of the book is a way for me to write about my experience of migration and exile without relying on false dichotomies such as before and after, or here and there.
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Myint, Thirii Myo Kyaw, "Zat Lun: A Family History" (2019). Restricted Access ETDs. 67.
Received from author
Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint