Curiosity about his father’s homeland sends American photographer Min Lin to Burma to immerse himself in its culture and build his portfolio. But it’s 1988 and pro-democracy activists are trying to overthrow the military regime. Min gets caught up in the movement after falling in love with one of its leaders. When she’s arrested, Min flees to the jungle and, joining the rebels, comes face-to-face on the battlefield with a Burmese army captain who looks exactly like him. After an explosion kills his double, Min awakes in a hospital misidentified as a hero of the regime, causing him to pose as the dead soldier for his own survival.
Escaping in 1990, he returns to Los Angeles, where he builds a new life based on his acceptance of his homosexuality while adjusting to the shock of discovering his father’s secret history in Burma. Decades later, a new wave of religious persecution and ethno-nationalism in the country now known as Myanmar compels him to return. Still haunted by the events of ’88, and knowing his ex-girlfriend is to be released from prison, Min must come to terms with his actions while seeking the truth about the double he met on a battlefield a lifetime ago.
About the author
Daniel Gawthrop is the author of five non-fiction books including The Rice Queen Diaries, which was shortlisted for a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award and an Independent Publishers Award, and The Trial of Pope Benedict. He has worked as a freelance writer and journalist in Vancouver, London, and Bangkok, where he was a sub-editor for The Nation newspaper. During a leave of absence from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, where he was hired as a communications representative in 2004, he spent several months living and working in Burma to prepare for writing his debut novel, Double Karma. He and his Burmese husband, a native of Karen State, live in New Westminster, BC, traditional Coast Salish territory of the Qayqayt First Nation.