Bewitched By Burma
Little Melton author Anne Carter has been Bewitched
by Burma for almost nine decades. Now she has turned memories of the
country and its history into a book.
“Bewitched by Burma” sees Anne covering the
period in the country’s history from the days of the British Raj to the
granting of full independence after the Japanese conflict.
The book is full of personal memories, letters and
details of the challenges facing Anglican missionaries in a predominantly
Buddhist country. Anne’s father was one such missionary and she was born
in Burma in 1924 and lived there for the first eight years of her life.
“The book is based on largely unpublished letters
and diaries written by Anglican missionaries during the first half of the
20th century. When I came to writing the book I realised just
how much I personally remembered from those early years,” she said.
Anne was prompted to write “Bewitched by Burma”
after returning to the country in 2007 and finding it very much as she had
“My three sons took me back and we received a
fantastic welcome everywhere we went. It appeared to me that whilst the
western world had moved on, Burma hadn’t really moved forward. They were
still driving cars from the late 1940s, the railways and electricity only
worked intermittently and women were filling in pot holes on the roads
with stones. Most of the early church records had disappeared during the
war with Japan. I was asked if I could write a history of the early church
in Burma. Then my brother found a box in his attic containing letters
written by my father in the 1920s and 1930s,” she said.
Anne’s father became a missionary in Burma at the
age of 30. The holder of a double first from Cambridge University, he was
responsible for translating the Bible into Burmese script. He spent much
of his retirement updating and correcting the Burmese Bible which the
family have now had re-printed. Anne has many other links with Burma,
which is now primarily known as Myanmar, including a late husband who
served with the army there.
The visit and the letters proved the catalyst Anne
needed to burst into print, although it took her three years to research
and complete the book which is published by Matador.
“I had always wanted to write about the country. It
was rich in rice, vegetables, rubies, oil and petroleum but had shut
itself off from the rest of the world for 60 years and become one of the
poorest countries in the world. Burma should have the ability to be one of
the richest. People lived in fear of the military regimes that controlled
the country,” Anne said adding that the work towards democracy
undertaken by people such as Aung San Suu Kyi has been a revelation.
“It will be a very bumpy road but Aung San Suu Kyi
is one of my great heroines for what she has achieved.”
Anne came to Norfolk in 1949 as one of the county’s
first full-time women probation officers. She has lived in Little Melton
since 1997 and been responsible for a number of local books and
publications including three text books for the Girl Guides’ Association
and acting as editor for a book on the history of Little Melton.
Any profit from the Burma books will go towards the
Burma Children’s Fund which supports mainly orphans in the country which
is now known primarily as Myanmar.
Copies of the book are available at £9.99 direct from Anne on 01603 810266 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available from local book sellers or from the publishers at www.troubador.co.uk. An electronic version is also available from the Amazon Kindle Store.