'Miss Burma' by Charmaine Craig '89 Now Available
"Mesmerizing and haunting."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Charmaine Craig '89 studied literature at Harvard College, received her MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages.
Her new novel, Miss Burma (Grove), is based on the lives of her mother and grandparents, telling the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of one family struggling to find love, justice, and meaning during a time of war and political repression. In this Q&A, Charmaine describes the research and writing process.
"Emotionally complex . . . masterfully renders the human condition in matters micro and vast . . . Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity—not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women. It also raises one particularly resonant concern: What does it take to shake us out of complacency?"―ELLE magazine
"Charmaine Craig wields powerful and vivid prose to illuminate a country and a family trapped not only by war and revolution, but also by desire and loss. Both epic and intimate, Miss Burma is a compelling and disturbing trip through Burmese history and politics." ―Viet Thanh Nguyen
English 7 introduces students from a wide representation of elementary schools to Marlborough's expectations. Students write frequently, learning to express themselves, both formally and informally, in expository and creative assignments. Personal experience and literature are springboards for writing assignments, oral presentations, and seminar-like discussions. Readings often include The Book Thief, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, A Midsummer Night's Dream and an extended unit on poetry.
This course builds upon the reading and writing skills from English 7. Students are asked to write with increasing precision and sophistication as they explore various literary genres and archetypes, familiarize themselves with poetic devices, and analyze modes of characterization. Major texts often include The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, House on Mango Street, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, and Genesis. More intensive grammar and vocabulary exercises support the enhanced demands placed on students' reading and writing.
English I is first and foremost a writing course, designed to prepare students for the type of writing they will do in the Upper School and beyond. The texts in the first semester are organized around the theme of "Finding One's Voice." Students are introduced to traditional components of rhetoric in crafting written and oral arguments. The year is spent practicing vivid and insightful ways to use these skills in literary analysis. Major texts often include The Joy Luck Club, Twelve Angry Men, Persepolis, The Catcher in the Rye, Macbeth, and a variety of short stories and poems.
Issues in American culture and society are introduced in this course and studied through the lens of our nation's literary tradition. Students are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills, their capacity to read and interpret literature, and their ability to express that understanding in conversation and writing. The course focuses on topics such as identity, race, class, resistance to change and change itself, conflict, and American ideas about land. Major texts often include The Scarlet Letter, The Awakening, The Great Gatsby, Thomas and Beulah, Streetcar Named Desire, and an anthology compiled by the instructors.