Fans of novelist Mya Than Tint hold talks on his books

Nay Won Htet

Fans of novelist Mya Than Tint gathered at the Yangon Book Plaza on June 18 to discuss the author’s work.

At the event, novelist Chit Oo Nyo gave a talk on his experiences with Mya Than Tint. Later, writers Han San, Tin Mi Mi Khine and Min Kha talked about Mya Than Tint’s 29 short novels. Among the attendees, five were randomly selected to receive a prize of Mya Than Tint’s best-selling books Dha Taung Ko Kyaw Rae Mee Pin Lae Ko Phyat Myae (Across the Mountain of Swords and the Sea of Fire) and Sar Pay Lu Kyan Minthar (Villain from literary world). Collections of his short stories were sold at a discount, and the typewriter he used to write his books was displayed.

Mya Than Tint is considered one of the greatest Myanmar writers and translators of the 20th century.

His writing career began in 1949 when his first short novel Refugee was published in Tara Magazine (No. 21, Vol. 3, 1949). He published many short and full length novels, documentaries and translated works in his 50-year writing career.

Dataung Ko Kyaw Ywei, Mee Pinle Ko Hpyat Myi (Across the Mountain of Swords and the Sea of Fire), published in 1973, is considered to be his masterpiece. He also produced historical works such as Breeze over Taungthaman Lake.

Also a prolific translator of Western literature into Burmese, Mya Than Tint introduced his readers to world classics like War and Peace and Gone with the Wind. He won the Myanmar National Literature Award five times for his translations War and Peace in 1972 , Gone with the Wind in 1978, Dream of the Red Chamber  in 1988 , City of Joy in 1992 and Beyond Love in 1995.

Mya Than Tint was jailed from 1963 to 1972 by Ne Win's military regime, which seized power in 1962, initially serving time in Yangon's Insein Prison, and from 1969 until his release 3 years later on the Coco Islands penal colony in the Indian Ocean. He died at age 68 in Yangon of a brain hemorrhage on February 18, 1998.

Translated by May Aung Shwe