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You've Changed

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780349703022

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 3rd May 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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In this electric debut essay collection, a Myanmar millennial playfully challenges us to examine the knots and complications of immigration status, eating habits, Western feminism in an Asian home, and more, guiding us toward an expansive idea of what it means to be a Myanmar woman today.

What does it mean to be a Myanmar person – a baker, swimmer, writer and woman – on your own terms rather than those of the coloniser? These irreverent yet vulnerable essays ask that question by tracing the journey of a woman who spent her young adulthood in the US and UK before returning to her hometown of Yangon, where she still lives.

In You’ve Changed, Pyae takes on romantic relationships whose futures are determined by different passports, switching accents in American taxis, the patriarchal Myanmar concept of hpone which governs how laundry is done, swimming as refuge from mental illness, pleasure and shame around eating rice, and baking in a kitchen far from white America’s imagination.

Throughout, she wrestles with the question of who she is ­- a Myanmar woman in the West, a Western-educated person in Yangon, a writer who refuses to be labelled a ‘race writer.’ With intimate and funny prose, Pyae shows how the truth of identity may be found not in stability, but in its gloriously unsettled nature.

What people are saying about You’ve Changed:

‘Reading You’ve Changed is like staying up all night with a new friend, swapping stories over a take-out container of fried rice. I was charmed by Pyae Moe Thet War’s voice, at turns vulnerable, self-deprecating, and always humorous, and by her thoughtful exploration of the liminal space in which her multitude of identities – Myanmar, woman, feminist, writer – reside.’
Larissa Pham, author of Pop Song

‘This book was a joy to read. Bracing, heartfelt and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Pyae Moe Thet War considers the complexities of migration, belonging and what it means to love, in a debut that is as refreshing as it is welcoming. I can’t wait to read more from this wonderful writer.’ Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know

Arresting… In sparkling essays suffused with cutting humour, she recounts her experiences as a ‘young, female Myanmar writer’ – which she wryly claims is her ‘unique selling point’ and also her biggest obstacle… This is intoxicating.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Intelligent, thought-provoking, poignant and a delight to read. A refreshingly honest, original exploration of personal identity and a culture that may be unfamiliar.Kirkus Review

Reviews

War reminds me of how much I love rice, the need to feel safe, to lean into my rebellion against the patriarchy, and that I too am living this double life as an Asian-American. Picking up this book feels like a great laugh and a giant hug from a big sister I've never had.
Cosmos Book Club
In this debut book, readers are gifted a funny, insightful, and beautifully written collection of essays about womanhood in contemporary Myanmar from the lens of someone who inhabits multiple identities as both a Western-educated and native Myanmar woman . . . A must for your bookshelf, War's collection is incisive and exciting.
Shondaland
You've Changed is an inviting work by a debut author whose voice flexes its skill across different terrains of living and being. Pyae Moe Thet War meditates and grapples with identity as it relates to migration, Western assimilation, and intergenerational expectations-a fine book from a severely underrepresented voice in the world of arts and letters. I hope this work leaves the door open for other Myanmar writers.
Morgan Jerkins, author of Caul Baby
Thought-provoking, poignant, and a delight to read . . . A refreshingly honest, original exploration of personal identity.
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Perfect for fans of the podcast Armchair Expert and the Netflix show Never Have I Ever . . . You've Changed is a portrait of someone who is mostly unapologetically-though sometimes mildly apologetically-herself . . . There should be way more books by relatable people who describe themselves as 'pretty average,' and who celebrate 'fluff,' but who don't shy away from heavy topics-and Pyae Moe Thet War does just that.
Robyn Smith, Bust
Brilliantly filling a gap in lit from Myanmar, this debut essay collection covers feminism, race, tradition, colonization and more.
Ms Magazine
This book was a joy to read. Bracing, heartfelt, and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Pyae Moe Thet War considers the complexities of migration, belonging, and what it means to love in a debut that is as refreshing as it is welcoming. I can't wait to read more from this wonderful writer.
Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know
Reading You've Changed is like staying up all night with a new friend, swapping stories over a take-out container of fried rice. I was charmed by Pyae Moe Thet War's voice, at turns vulnerable, self-deprecating, and always humorous, and by her thoughtful exploration of the liminal space in which her multitude of identities-Myanmar, woman, feminist, writer-reside.
Larissa Pham, author of Pop Song
In this arresting debut, War reflects on her dual lives spent in the U.S. and Myanmar to cleverly explore notions of home and identity . . . Intoxicating.
Publishers Weekly
Once the 'lone mythical Myanmar unicorn in every writing space I attended,' [War] claims her own expanse in this vivacious debut nonfiction collection showcasing wise-beyond-her-years insight (she's 25 in her first essay), biting impatience, and plenty of unfiltered humor . . . Illuminating, entertaining essays about coming of age between languages, cultures, and born-into and chosen families.
Booklist (starred review)