Thida is a Burmese fiction writer and physician who was named recipient of Brown University’s 2008 – 09 International Writers Project Fellowship, given to authors facing political harassment, imprisonment or oppression in his or her country of origin. Author of the books The Sunflower and In the Shade of an Indian Almond Tree, among others. Thida has also written many articles and stories about the damage done to her country by successive repressive regimes. In 1993, she was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Yongon’s Insein Jail for her work to promote democratic change in Burma. She was released in 1999 on humanitarian grounds because of health problems. Thida will be in residence at Brown throughout the current academic year.