Explore the 2024 Program

Ma Thida


Ma Thida (photo credit Ole Witt)
Ma Thida is an award-winning dissident writer and human rights activist from Myanmar. She spent six years in prison in the 1990s, which she wrote about in her acclaimed memoir, Prisoner of Conscience: My Steps through Insein. In the book she details her use of vipassana meditation to get her through the untold hardships of jail.

Ma Thida has published more than a dozen books as well as short stories and she has worked as an editor and a surgeon. She was awarded the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award and the Reebok Human Rights Award and is currently the chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.