We are thrilled to share the incredible news that Pyae Moe Thet War‘s stunning debut anthology You’ve Changed has been chosen by Malala, the 2014 Nobel Laureate and UN Messenger of peace, as her Book Club Pick just ahead of its US hardback publication day in May.
Malala, whose book club focusses on ‘Women Who Dare To Speak’, is an advocate for girls’ education and the equality of women.
You’ve Changed is a collection of personal essays written about Pyae’s own life experience as a Myanmar woman growing up in both the US and UK before returning to live in her native Myanmar as an adult. It details the struggles and often hilarious antics of finding her own identity in a world where she is both torn between and often unites opposing elements of her Eastern heritage and her Western experience.
The author could not hold back her joy at being chosen by Malala’s book club:
For those who are keen to engage, Malala’s book club can be accessed via the Literati app.
Here’s a taster of the triumphant, You’ve Changed:
What does it mean to be a Myanmar person—a baker, swimmer, writer and woman—on your own terms rather than those of the colonizer? These irreverent yet vulnerable essays ask that question by tracing the journey of a woman who spent her young adulthood in the US and UK before returning to her hometown of Yangon, where she still lives.
In You’ve Changed, Pyae takes on romantic relationships whose futures are determined by different passports, switching accents in American taxis, the patriarchal Myanmar concept of hpone which governs how laundry is done, swimming as refuge from mental illness, pleasure and shame around eating rice, and baking in a kitchen far from white America’s imagination.
Throughout, she wrestles with the question of who she is—a Myanmar woman in the West, a Western-educated person in Yangon, a writer who refuses to be labeled a “race writer.” With intimate and funny prose, Pyae shows how the truth of identity may be found not in stability, but in its gloriously unsettled nature.
In this electric debut essay collection, a Myanmar millennial playfully challenges us to examine the knots and complications of immigration status, eating habits, Western feminism in an Asian home, and more, guiding us toward an expansive idea of what it means to be a Myanmar woman today.
Congratulations, Pyae, on this wonderful news!