Michelle Aung Thin

Michelle was born in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) in the year of the military coup (1962). She left with her parents when she was a baby. Her family settled in Ottawa, Canada, where she grew up. She is the eldest of four siblings.

Michelle started thinking of herself as a writer in Grade 5, when a poem she wrote called “Worries” was read aloud in class. She worked as a copywriter in London advertising agencies and now teaches writing at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, where she lives with her husband, son and dog, Oliver. She has a PhD from the University of Adelaide.

Burma has always fascinated Michelle. For decades, Burmese expatriates were not allowed to return. Her knowledge of the country came via her parents’ stories, as well as the letters sent by her grandmother, Valerie, and her grandfather, George, who remained behind. She first saw the land of her birth in 2013 and returned for an extended period in 2014 to research Rangoon’s cosmopolitan history.

Michelle is Anglo-Burmese, of mixed European and Asian ancestry. She counts Bengalis, Sri Lankans, and Burmese among her forbears, as well as a Dutch pirate, Irish soldiers and German Catholics.

Annick Press books
by Michelle Aung Thin