The White Umbrella by Patricia Elliot
A dazzling true tale of modern Burma told through the life story of Sao Hearn Hkam who had been Princess of Hsenwi, Mahadevi of Yawnghwe, former First Lady of Burma, Member of Parliament, Founder of the Shan State Army, and refugee. From quiet Shan hills to the presidential Palace in Rangoon, to the halls of power in Asia and Europe and finally to the violent, drug-laden netherworld. Her journey is a tale full of princes and princesses, heroes and traitors; opium warlords and freedom fighters. Unspoken are the undercurrents that lift the story from fairy-tale to hard reality. The White Umbrella is in effect a revelation about centuries-old traditions and ethnic conflict bound up in Cold War ideologies and the lure of the Golden Triangle.