by Daniel Gawthrop
Format: Trade Paperback w/ Flaps
Size: 5.5" x 8.5"
FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
FIC037000 FICTION / Political
FIC025000 FICTION / Psychological
Publication Date: April 22, 2023
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.
“A vivid, passionate and compassionate page-turner in which political turmoil and oppression acts as an unwitting catalyst for self-realization. The ongoing situation in Myanmar lends Daniel Gawthrop's novel continuing relevance and poignancy. Compelling, imaginative, timely, and gutsy.”
— C.E. Gatchalian, Author of Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man
“In many different ways Double Karma feels huge. Spanning decades, linking lives in the United States with lives in Burma it is about conflicting and complex forces of religion and politics, the fates of millions of people, and the historic political figures who drive these forces. At the same time, it is a novel about not just externals, but also internals: it is a novel, above all, about identity.”
— The BC Review