An Angry Letter From "Burma"
I got a two-page letter in the mail recently, enclosed in a large manila envelope. Here's an excerpt:
Dear Mitali Perkins,
Through reading your novel Bamboo People, we have discovered that you included false accusations and stories of our government. These include purporting that children are "kidnapped," tortured or otherwise harmed by our government. After careful research, we find that these rumors are not true, not right, and a deliberate attack to our government. Your book has been placed under a censored list, and the current copy is banned as of 6/9/10.
As a result of you having tried to attack our government and deliberately cause harm and chaos to our people, the Foreign Affairs office of the government has revised your privileges in this country. Your current visa may be revoked, since if you do come to Burma, it will be for the purpose of distributing your book and tantalizing our people with false ideas. Be warned that the Government of Burma may pursue legal and disciplinary action against you if you try to distribute this book. All laws and policies are strictly enforced, so it is recommended that you immediately stop the publication of this book, destroy it, and not attempt to attack our government again.
Your writing, however, shows some promise, so we suggest you try to continue and focus on other topics that would benefit the Burmese people, such as creative writing of our long and traditional culture.I'll confess that my heart skipped a beat. Thankfully, as I pulled out the rest of the papers in the envelope, I discovered that this was the work of a brilliant 8th grader in Ms. Suzanne Steckert's class at Mt. Pleasant Middle School. Whew. That kid has a bright future in propaganda or fiction. Maybe both. Best wishes, Mr. "Orwell."