This post is about Not out of Hate, an allegorical tale of a young Burmese woman in an unhappy marriage with a westernised Burmese man. Often compared with George Orwell’s Burmese Days, it communicates an anti-colonial message from the point of view of the local Burmese.
The book can be read as the story of one dutiful young woman’s relationship with her overbearing husband—or as an allegory for her country under British rule.
Published in 1955 in Burmese under the title Mon Ywe Mahu, it won a national literary award and sold many copies. Decades later, in 1991, it became the first Burmese novel to be translated into English and published outside the country.
See below to find out what you need to know to decide whether you should read Not out of Hate, or what you should know about it even if you never do!