Wendy Law-Yone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wendy Law-Yone
Born (1947-04-01) April 1, 1947 (age 70)[1]
Mandalay, Burma
Occupation writer
Nationality United States
Spouse John Randall
Children Jocelyn Seagrave, Sean Seagrave, Chad O'Connor, Bess O'Connor
Relatives Edward Law-Yone (father)

Wendy Law-Yone (Burmese pronunciation: [lɔ́ jòʊɴ]; born 1947) is the critically acclaimed Burmese-born American author of A Daughter's Memoir of Burma (Columbia University Press, 2014), Golden Parasol (Chatto & Windus, 2013), The Road to Wanting (Chatto & Windus, 2010), Irrawaddy Tango (Knopf, 1994), and The Coffin Tree (Knopf, 1983).


The daughter of notable Burmese newspaper publisher, editor and politician Edward Michael Law-Yone,[2] Law-Yone was born in Mandalay but grew up in Rangoon.[3] Her background is diverse, with one grandfather a merchant from Yunnan and another a colonial officer from Great Britain.[4] Law-Yone states that she is "half Burman, a quarter Chinese and a quarter English".[5]

Law-Yone has indicated that her father's imprisonment under the military regime limited her options in the country. She was barred from university, but not allowed to leave the country.[5] In 1967, an attempt to escape to Thailand failed and she was imprisoned, but managed to leave Burma as a stateless person.[5] She relocated to the United States in 1973, attending Eckerd College for comparative literature and modern languages before receiving a Carnegie Fellowship and settling in Washington, D.C. for thirty years.[2] In 1987, she was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Award for Creative Writing.[6] In 2002, she received a David T.K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship from the University of East Anglia.[7] Her novel The Road to Wanting was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2011.[8] In 2015, she was Dürrenmatt guest professor at University Bern, Switzerland.[9]

Law-Yone cites as a strong influence on her writing career her father's love of language, noting that his work as the founder of Burmese English-language newspaper The Nation was a daily factor in her childhood.[10]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Coffin Tree (1983)
  • Irrawaddy Tango (1993)
  • The Road to Wanting (2010)
  • Golden Parasol: A Daughter's Memoir of Burma (2013)

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ American ethnic writers. Salem Press. 2008. p. 679. ISBN 978-1-58765-464-0. 
  2. ^ a b Yoo and Ho, 283
  3. ^ Huang, Guiyou (2006). The Columbia Guide to Asian American Literature Since 1945. Columbia University Press. p. 136. ISBN 0-231-12620-4. 
  4. ^ "SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research" (PDF). 2 (1). School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Spring 2004: 5. ISSN 1479-8484. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  5. ^ a b c "Beyond Rangoon: an interview with Wendy Law-Yone.". Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States. 2002-12-22. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  6. ^ http://arts.endow.gov/pub/NEA
  7. ^ "Wendy Law-Yone, 2002 David T.K. Wong Fellow". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 
  8. ^ Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  9. ^ (in German) Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  10. ^ Yoo and Ho, 286.


  • Yoo, Nancy; Tamara Ho (2000). "Wendy Law-Yone". In King-Kok Cheung. Words Matter: Conversations with Asian American Writers. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 283–302. ISBN 0824822161.