A mother’s love triumphs at Tun Foundation literary awards
Zon Pann Pwint The Myanmar Times March 20, 2018
Amay Hne Kyun Taw (Mother and I) by Dr Khin Maung Win. Shin Moe Myint/The Myanmar Times
The judges describe Dr Khin Maung Win’s winning autobiography as “Engrossing”
Professor Dr Khin Maung Win has won the 2017 Tun Foundation Literary award in the biography section for his 2016 short-story compilation Amay Hne Kyun Taw (Mother and I). (U Thein Tun also owns Myanmar Consolidated Media, which publishes The Myanmar Times.)
The Myanmar-language book, which has since been made into a feature-film titled Htarwara Amay – up for a local Academy award, is a collection of autobiographical short-stories exploring the loving relationship Dr Khin Maung Win and his six siblings had with their mother and contains snapshots of life growing-up in middle-Myanmar during the 1950s.
Dr Khin Maung Win, a renowned Hepatologist at Victoria Hospital in Yangon, has contributed personal short stories to Kalyar monthly magazine since 2005, all of which were published in Amay Hne Kyun Taw.
“His stories were eagerly awaited by readers of the magazine,” writer Maung Khin Min (Danuphyu), a member of the prize-giving committee, said during the awards ceremony held on March 17 at the Myanmar Banks Association.
The 2017 Tun Foundation Literary awards saw prizes handed out to authors in 12 categories, including health, history and environment, for books published in 2016.
Dr Khin Maung Win was on a trip and unable to attend the ceremony in person.
Amay Hne Kyun Taw vividly portrays his mother Daw Khin Khin’s great love for her seven children, and the impact the superstitious beliefs of the people who lived in post-independence middle-Myanmar had on the writer as a child and during his career as a medical doctor.
In one passage of the book cited by the judges as being particularly impactful Dr Khin Maung Win describes receiving a call from someone who tells him immediately to remain calm despite what they are about to tell him. He is shocked and expects be told his mother has passed away. Much to his relief, the caller says that his house has caught fire and has been reduced to ashes.
“He was glad when he heard because it was not sad news about his mother,” Maung Khin Min said.
Though not formally educated, the short stories paint a picture of Daw Khin Khin as a woman with a sharp mind who does her utmost to support her children and help them with their education.
Published in the book is a letter she wrote to her son when he worked at the Royal Free Hospital in London in the 1980s. Daw Khin Khin writes that it is not easy working in a foreign country and that she is very proud of him but most importantly she tells her son to take care of himself and be happy. The judging panel said the moving letter was one of the highlights of the book. “It is engrossing,” said Maung Khin Min.
From: THE MYANMAR TIMES (MYANMAR) March 20, 2018