Ei Pencilo, 31, is a Burmese author who escaped Yangon during the February 2021 military coup. Her memoir “Burma Spring Revolution: 100 Days of Darkness” documents how she evaded arrest in Burma, and ended up in the U.S. It was published in South Korea.
“My name is Pencilo.
I adopted this as my pen name in 2012.
Before that, I wrote under my given name.
Since 2015, I have published four books as Pencilo.
I wrote a book about my own experiences and what happened during the first 100 days of the coup.
I call it “Burma Spring Revolution: 100 days of Darkness.”
A South Korean book publisher contacted me and asked to publish it in the Korean language.
This is my first time being published in Korean.
I also want to raise awareness about Burma in South Korea.
Burma’s struggle for democracy is similar to South Korea’s
It would be impossible to publish a book like this in Burma now.
In the book I have documented what the Burma Army did to the people.
I wrote it as a record of the coup.
So, I’d prefer to publish it in other languages.
I am thinking of publishing an ebook and a physical copy.
The e-book is for readers in Burma who won’t be able to purchase the physical book.
I plan to translate my book into English so international readers can learn what happened in Burma.
The Spring revolution is more important than my book.
I will try to publish in Burmese and English.
All proceeds will go to the Spring Revolution.
I began writing on February 4th as I escaped from Yangon to the border.
The book shares how I evaded arrest and made it out of Burma.
I also wrote about the protests, and the atrocities committed against peaceful protesters.
Once I reached the U.S., I couldn’t finish writing it.
But after three months, I could finally finish it.
My book marks two important days imprinted in my mind.
Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing was the first anti-coup protester killed by the military.
Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing was shot at the Hledan protest.
I heard the news about their deaths the day I arrived at the border.
I had never heard of anything as cruel as killing these peaceful protesters.
At my age all I knew about Burma’s brutal crackdowns and killing its own people have been from history books.
I never thought it could really happen in 2021.
I was really shocked.”
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