Book Review: Picking Off New Shoots Will Not Stop the Spring: Witness Poems and Essays from Burma/Myanmar 19882021 (2021) edited by Ko Ko Thett and Brian Haman

“In the event of my death, be proud of me,” writes a Myanmar doctor, addressing his mother in a short essay titled “My Will”, in which he foresees his own death just weeks later. 

Dr. Thiha Tin Tun was shot in the head on 27 March last year while setting up blockades against police and soldiers who were advancing on protesters in Mandalay. The 27-year-old had joined millions of his fellow citizens in opposing a military coup d’état launched on 1 February 2021, the day Myanmar’s second democratically elected parliament was due to sit. He was prepared to pay with his life.

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading


We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Ben Dunant

Ben Dunant is a journalist who worked in Myanmar from 2014 to 2021.