International literary festival opens in Myanmar

“It’s very important for the students of Myanmar because there is contact with foreigners,” Arker Kyaw, an 18-year-old student of English, said of the festival. “I know only Leo Tolstoy.”

He didn’t recognize any of the foreign authors scheduled to speak and has little guidance through the world of contemporary English letters. He hugged a brown bag of books he’d bought for his friends, including “Spearwielder’s Tale” by R.A. Salvatore and “The Terrible Hours” by Peter Maas.

The festival director is Jane Heyn, wife of the British ambassador to Myanmar. Sponsors include Yoma Strategic Holdings and Myint & Associates, companies that have been cultivating international business partners as the U.S., Europe and Australia unwind economic sanctions against Myanmar.

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