Mya Than Tint - Biography


Born Mya Than on 23 May 1929 in Myaing, Pakokku Township, Magway Division, Myanmar, he was the eldest of seven children to Paw Tint and his wife Hlaing.

Mya Than Tint entered Rangoon University in 1948, the year Burma gained independence from Great Britain, and received a degree in philosophy, political science and English literature.

His writing career began in 1949 when his first short novel “Refugee” (ဒုက္ခသည်) was published in Tara (တာရာ) 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) (ဓားတောင်ကိုကျော်၍ မီးပင်လယ်ကိုဖြတ်မယ်) (1973) is considered to be his greatest masterpiece. He also wrote historical documentaries like “Breeze over Taungthaman Lake” (တောင်သမန်အင်းက လေညှင်းဆော်တော့).

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

As a political prisoner, Mya Than Tint was jailed from 1963 to 1972 by Ne Win's military regime that seized power from a democratic government in 1962. He was initially incarcerated in Rangoon's notorious Insein Prison, but later transferred with other political prisoners to the Coco Islands penal colony in the Indian Ocean until his release three years later. At the age of 68, he died in his home in Sanchaung Township in Rangoon of a brain hemorrhage after an accidental fall from a staircase in the early morning of Feb.18,1998. He was cremated at the Hteinpin cemetery in Rangoon.

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