The Lady and the Peacock, By Peter Popham
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Saturday 23 June 2012
As Aung San Suu Kyi makes her momentous return to Britain, Popham's biography reflects on the life of a woman who has had great struggle – and greatness – thrust upon her, from her inherited duty to Burma after her father's assassination, to her marriage to a British academic and return to Burma, aged 43.
In a fine, unflinching narrative, the interviewees include Suu Kyi. Popham deftly tackles charges against her from her prolonged absence from Burma to her decision not to go to her husband's Oxford deathbed and her confinement ("unlike Mandela, she was free to leave"): a timely portrait of steely courage.
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