The Book Of Jezebel: K Is For Kyi, Aung San Suu

As you may have heard, on October 22nd we'll be publishing our first book, a 300-page, hardcover, illustrated encyclopedia called The Book of Jezebel. In honor of this milestone —which took many years and dozens of contributors to execute—we'll be posting one entry from the book a day, starting with "A" and continuing on through to "Z." Although the book itself has already been printed — it's gorgeous — questions, additions, annotations and suggestions on the entries that appear online are welcomed and encouraged.

Kyi, Aung San Suu (1945-)

Burmese freedom fighter, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the closest we have ever come to a female Gandhi (or Martin Luther King Jr.). Started out as a dissenting politician, working for democratization. From 1989, has been held under house arrest, on and off, and separated from her children and from her British husband, whom she was not permitted to see before he died of cancer. Asked by an interviewer if she had been mentally or emotionally captured by the SLORC, the military junta that held her under arrest, she whipped out an example from George Eliot's Middlemarch:

"There was a character called Dr. Lydgate, whose marriage turned out to be a disappointment. I remember a remark about him, something to the effect that what he was afraid of was that he might no longer be able to love his wife who had been a disappointment to him. When I first read this remark I found it rather puzzling. It shows that I was very immature at that time. My attitude was—shouldn't he have been more afraid that she might have stopped loving him? But now I understand why he felt like that. If he had stopped loving his wife, he would have been entirely defeated. His whole life would have been a disappointment. But what she did and how she felt was something quite different. I've always felt that if I had really started hating my captors, hating the SLORC, and the army, I would have defeated myself."

(Image via Getty.)