International best-selling author Charmaine Craig to visit Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66101 www.kckpl.org

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/4/2017 Contact: Kim Woolery Arts and Communication Librarian Kansas City, Kansas Public Library Phone: 913-295-8250 x6410 Email: kwoolery@kckpl.org

International best-selling author Charmaine Craig to visit Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kansas City, Kansas Public Library will host a question and answer session and book signing with Charmaine Craig, author of the newly published historical fiction MISS BURMA, which centers on the lives of her grandparents and her mother, Louisa Benson Craig, famed freedom fighter and the first Miss Burma. The event will take place at 3:30 pm, June 4, at the South Branch Library at 3104 Strong Avenue in KCK. The event will also include a reception with traditional Karen foods provided by Chief Properties.

Set in Burma from the 1940’s through the 1960’s during the most violent and turbulent years of a civil war that has continued to the present day, Charmaine Craig’s new novel MISS BURMA tells the story of one family’s remarkable journey through this fraught political and social landscape, equal parts love story and incisive political novel inspired by the true story of Craig’s ancestors.

MISS BURMA brings modern Burma to life through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louisa. After attending school in Calcutta, Benny settles in Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and falls in love with Khin, a woman who is part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group, the Karen. World War II comes to Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin must go into hiding, beginning a journey that will lead them to change the country’s history. After the war, the British authorities make a deal with the Burman nationalists, led by Aung San, whose party gains control of the country. When Aung San is assassinated, his successor ignores the pleas for self-government of the Karen people and other ethnic groups, starting what will become the longest-running civil war in recorded history. Benny and Khin’s daughter, Louisa, has a danger-filled childhood and reaches prominence as Burma’s first beauty queen, soon before the country falls to dictatorship. As Louisa navigates her new-found fame, she is forced to reckon with her family’s past, the West’s ongoing covert dealings in her country, and her own loyalty to the cause of the Karen people.

The event will also include information from local organizations that work with refugees including Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Jewish Vocational Services, and Bethel Neighborhood Center.

Charmaine Craig is a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. A former actor in film and television, and a Burma activist privy to negotiations at the highest level in the current conflict, she studied literature at Harvard University and received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages.

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library was formed in 1895. In 1899, it came under the authority of the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District Board of Education and remains there today. It serves a population of 159,129. The mission of Kansas City, Kansas Public Library is to connect members of a dynamic community with information, tools, resources, and welcoming spaces to enrich lives in Wyandotte County. The library can be found online at kckpl.org

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