Issue: July 2014

The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi / Peter Popham- Book Review

  • book review

This extensive biography of one of the bravest women of our times, who has non-violently fought to establish democracy in Burma, is a powerful read.  

Peter Popham charmingly introduces the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at the beginning of the book: ‘She is by far the most famous woman politician in the world never to have held office...and, along with the Dalai Lama, the most feted exponent of non-violent political resistance since Mahatma Gandhi. She is a familiar figure to millions of people around the world who have no idea how to pronounce her name or where to place Burma on the world map.’ 

Being only two years old when her father Aung San, Burma’s independence hero, was assassinated, Suu Kyi vowed to stay loyal to his cause. When she returned from Britain to care for her ailing mother, she was soon voted the leader of the largest popular revolt in Burma. But while her party, the National League for Democracy, was victorious in the 1990 election, the military refused to recognise their right and imprisoned members. Under a long, painful, 15-year period of house arrest, Suu Kyi turned to her Buddhist faith to battle all odds including bad health and separation from her family—but she never gave up the fight. 

Going as far back as her early years in Rangoon and Delhi to her time at Oxford and her married life, we get a comprehensive picture of this inspiring leader as well as a lesson in the history of Burma. 

Publisher: Random House; Genre: Biography; Price: R599

Read more in the July 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.

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This article first appeared in July 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ magazine

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July 2014