Reviews and Press

 
  • Miss Burma is reviewed in The New York Times Book Review. “Miss Burma serves as a much needed recalibration of history, one that redresses the narrative imbalance by placing other ethnic, non-Burmese points of view at the center of its story . . . In reimagining the extraordinary lives of her mother and grandparents, Craig produces some passages of exquisitely precise description . . . By resurrecting voices that are seldom heard on a wider stage, Craig’s novel . . . brings one of Burma’s many lost histories to vivid life.”Emma Larkin
  • Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review, starts off with Miss Burma for Best Books of the Month: Literature and Fiction, May 2017.
  • "Miss Burma is powerful in showing the relentless effect of the political on the personal while covering an important swath of history – and all the while telling an awfully good story."—The Christian Science Monitor
  • Read an excerpt from Miss Burma in Europe Now (Council for European Studies at Columbia University).
  • "Issues of identity, colonialism, family ties, and power and weakness of beauty are explored here in a novel that is mesmerizing and memorable."—Toronto Star
  • "There are the wars, the almost unimaginable hundreds of thousands of lives lost or the displacement right now of over a million people in and from Burma, but then there’s the equally unimaginable loss of a single person." Read Charmaine's full interview with the Los Angeles Times.
  • Read Charmaine's personal piece in Literary Hub about her mother.
  • "The idealistic Jewish-Burmese couple in Charmaine Craig's autobiographically inspired Miss Burma (Grove Press) take an astonishing leap into the unknown by falling in love without speaking the same language, only to watch their daughter unwittingly become a national symbol."—Vogue
  • "...one of the author's main achievements lies in forcing us to consider the intersection of the personal and political, and the extent to which individuals are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the greater good."—from the review of Miss Burma in New York Journal of Books
  • Read an excerpt from Miss Burma, a Story of the Week in Narrative magazine.
  • Miss Burma is named an Amazon Best of the Month Editors' Pick in Literature & Fiction.
  •  Miss Burma is one of the BBC Culture's "Ten books to read in May"
  • Miss Burma is one of LitHub's 15 Books to Read This May.
  • Read an excerpt from Miss Burma in Dissent Magazine.
  • Miss Burma is reviewed in ELLE magazine, May 2017. “Emotionally complex . . . masterfully renders the human condition in matters micro and vast . . . Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity—not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women. It also raises one particularly resonant concern: What does it take to shake us out of complacency?”—Keziah Weir
  • Miss Burma is an Indie Next Selection for May 2017. “Charmaine Craig’s Miss Burma is nothing short of stunning. Based on the lives of her mother and grandparents in Burma, Craig deftly tells the epic story of one family as they try to survive the horrors of World War II, independence, and then civil war. What distinguishes this book from others is its frank look at who and what survives under such perilous conditions. Especially for readers unfamiliar with Burma, like me, Miss Burma is a chronicle of loss and love in a country too long neglected by the world.” —Michael Triebwasser, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
  • “[A] tale of love and disenchantment, loyalty and resentment, recognition and isolation . . . Whether Craig is describing the family’s escape through the jungle during WWII or student protests in 1962, she transports us to the thick of the conflicts . . . Based on real lives, Craig’s historical novel challenges our assumptions about everything from beauty queens to rebels and reminds us that the course of a nation’s history is often determined by the fallibility of individuals.”—from the starred Booklist review of Miss Burma 
  • “Craig has written a captivating second novel that skillfully moves from moments of quiet intimacy and introspection to passages portraying the swift evolution of political events as multiple groups and nations vie for control of Burma’s future. Mesmerizing and haunting.”       —from the starred Kirkus review of Miss Burma
  • “[An] epic new novel . . . Craig vividly illustrates the intertwining of the political and the personal . . . Readers with an eye to world history and current events will find this novel riveting.”from Library Journal review of Miss Burma
  • 34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen recommends Miss Burma in the NY Times, "By the Book"
  • Aminatta Forna offers advanced praise: Miss Burma is a book which resonates with meaning, of how we are all actors in our histories and the histories of our nations.  It disrupts our settled sense that the past is the past, and shows how that past reaches forward to touch the future.  A powerful, moving and important novel.”
  • Maaza Mengiste offers advanced praise: “In beautiful and evocative prose, Miss Burma reminds us of the many ways that war and political repression can scar generations. Yet the real wonder of this powerful book rests in its strong belief that love and determination―and even loss―can help illuminate a path out of the darkest moments. A gem of a novel.”
  • Read Charmaine's personal piece in The New York Times Magazine about her friendship with a Karen man, "A Long Engagement."
  • Read Charmaine's political piece in Dissent Magazine about Burma's history and ethnic nationalities, "Burma's Fault Lines: Ethnic Federalism and the Road to Peace."