Can Burma escape from its history?

John Lanchester in The New Yorker:

BurmaBurma stood out in my childhood as the place about which there were no stories. My parents moved there in March, 1963, when I was just over a year old. We spent six months in Rangoon, and for that entire period we were under house arrest. The military junta led by General Ne Win, which had seized power the year before, was shutting down all foreign activity in the country. My father was allowed to travel to the bank where he worked in order to help wind up its business, because the bank—like everything else in the country, including the Boy Scouts and the Automobile Association—was being nationalized. My mother and I stayed at home. Our camera was confiscated—it’s the only place we lived of which I don’t have any photographs. The house had a permanent staff of nine, so there was nothing to do. My parents had stories about everywhere we’d ever lived and everyone they’d ever met, but their experience of Burma was so weirdly isolated and isolating that they had next to nothing to say about it.

More here.