In August the author of a Burmese-language biography on Kim Jong Il was surprised when authorities ordered the publisher and bookstores to hand over all copies to the North Korean embassy in Yangon because of alleged inaccuracies (as told on The Irrawaddy). The book, which was reportedly burned in the embassy compound, has since been republished and a copy is among new acquisitions at the National Library of Australia in December. As sales of the book were reportedly slow before it was seized, perhaps the publisher is hoping that news of the incident will make the reprint worthwhile.

No embassy is reported to have attempted to seize Ko Ko Hlaing’s book on Thaksin Shinawatra. The text, which has on its title page Thaksin’s often-cited quote about a company and a country being one and the same, is a retelling of Pasuk & Baker’s Thaksin: The Business of Politics in Thailand, with some additional contents to come up to time of publication in 2009. Perhaps a Burmese version of Paul Handley’s biography may attract more attention than this one.

Other new titles at the Library in December include Maung Khin Min’s study of Burmese literature in the colonial era, a collection of essays by Ludu Sein Win, a book of concise biographies of 100 Burmese writers; two new works on sociolinguistics; the autobiography of medical doctor, Professor Thein; and, a romantic novel set against the backdrop of Cyclone Nargis. Also received were the new bilingual English-Sgaw Karen dictionary from the Karen Baptist Convention, and Dr. Bawi Hu’s English-Chin/Myanmar (Lai Holh) dictionary.

Burmese-language readers can consult a list of recent acquisitions in PDF format, as well as a list of Burmese-language serials that the library is currently receiving.

[This post is provided by the National Library of Australia as part of our Book Zone feature. For further information on the featured publications contact Nick Cheesman at [email protected]]