> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 April 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099491156
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $22.99

Perfect Hostage

Formats & editions

The dramatic story of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma and the Generals

Like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi is an iconic figure, and the best-known prisoner of conscience alive today. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, at great personal cost she has steadfastly opposed Burma’s brutal military regime since 1988, when she emerged as the leader of the Burmese democracy movement. As well as house arrest she has endured every kind of intimidation, including an attempt on her life in 2003. Yet if her exemplary fortitude has earned Aung San Suu Kyi world-wide admiration, inside Burma itself little has changed – as Justin Wintle’s comprehensive biography makes hideously plain.

  • Pub date: 1 April 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099491156
  • Imprint: Arrow
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Justin Wintle

Born in 1949, Wintle was educated at Stowe, and Magdalen Oxford. Since then he has worked as author, editor and journalist. He has produced books of reference like The Dictionary of Biographical Quotation, to investigative travel (Romancing Vietnam) to biography RS Thomas and God to Rough Guide histories of China, Spain and Islam. He is married and lives in London.

Praise for Perfect Hostage

“A well structured and literate account of her life”


“Richly detailed and briskly paced, with a keen sense of place... This thoughtful book is an important contribution to our knowledge of a little-known land”

Sunday Telegraph

“Wintle's intelligent biography describes the immense personal sacrifices Suu Kyi has made for her cause, but also, questions the "intransigence" of her ongoing non-violent protest.”


“Comprehensively researched”

Literary Review

“What Justin Wintle's new biography captures - in great detail and considerable length - is the story and the character of the woman behind the image of a valiant, but so far unsuccessful fighter against tyranny.”

Sunday Life (Belfast)

“Enthralling ... His is a superb narrative that deepens our understanding of this fascinating and at times enigmatic leader.”

Bangkok Post

“Perfect Hostage is one of those rare non-fiction books that has you in suspense even when you know what's going to happen: you know what's coming even as you panic at its approach.”

ABC National Radio (Australia) The Book Show

“Justin Wintle's potentially controversial biography of [Aung San Suu Kyi] is very much needed and welcome. He no doubt admires her and her courage, but, at the same time, writes that not every criticism levelled at Ms. Suu Kyi should be ignored, "otherwise any concern for Burma becomes a Stalinist parody of democracy.”

Far Eastern Economic Review

“Justin Wintle has written the best biography yet of Aung San Suu Kyi ...It is likely to be the standard reference on "Asia's Mandela" for many years to come.”

The Indian Express

“The uniqueness of this book is the author's achievement in capturing the story of the bloodied chart of Burma and the character of the woman behind its history”

Mizzima News

“Compelling ... the most meticulously researched biography of Suu Kyi to date”

The Sun (Malaysia)

Related titles