Nowhere to be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime

About the Book

Decades of military oppression in Burma have led to the systematic destruction of thousands of ethnic minority villages, a standing army with one of the world’s highest number of child soldiers, and the displacement of millions of people.

Nowhere to Be Home is an eye-opening collection of oral histories exposing the realities of life under military rule. In their own words, men and women from Burma describe their lives in the country that Human Rights Watch has called “the textbook example of a police state.”

About the Editors & Forward Author:

Maggie Lemere is a multimedia storyteller and oral historian whose projects focus on social and environmental issues.

Zoë West is a writer and researcher who works in the areas of labor, migration, and human rights.

Mary Robinson is a lawyer, politician, and diplomat who served as president of Ireland from 1990–97 and as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997–2002.

Praise for Nowhere to be Home:

Given the heavy censorship in Burma, and the long standing control by a military junta there, this book may be the only opportunity the narrators have to share their stories with the outside world.


With publication of a Burmese translation of the book Nowhere to Be Home, made possible in no small part by the demise of state censorship, narratives from survivors of Burma’s former military regime will finally be heard locally.

Kyaw Phyo Tha for The Irrawaddy

Related Resources

View the Lesson Plans
The lessons use oral history to promote a nuanced understanding of life under military rule in Burma.
Book Club Discussion Questions
Use these questions to encourage meaningful discussions about the book.
Read Narrative Excerpts
Foreign Policy In Focus highlights three oral history excerpts from the book.

Media Coverage