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Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Important Book

    Across Many Moun­tains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Jour­ney from Oppres­sion to Free­dom by Yang­zom Brauen is a non-fiction book which fol­lows three gen­er­a­tions of Tibetan women. The book is an insight into Tibetan's society.

    The book is the story of the author's grand­mother, mother and her­self. Start­ing in 1959, the story fol­lows Ms. Brauen's grand­mother, Kun­sang, as she escapes Tibet after the Chi­nese inva­sion. Kun­sang was stu­dyng to be a Bud­dhist nun but when she gets preg­nant Kun­sang gets mar­ried and gives birth to the author's mother, Sonam.

    Mother and daugh­ter escape to India where Sonam meets a Swiss man, falls in love and brings her fam­ily to Switzer­land. The last part of the book fol­lows Ms. Brauen's polit­i­cal activism to free Tibet.

    Across Many Moun­tains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Jour­ney from Oppres­sion to Free­dom by Yang­zom Brauen is sort of a cross between a mem­oir and a fam­ily his­tory of the author. The book starts with the inva­sion of Tibet by China and Ms. Brauen's grandmother's escape.

    Besides the excit­ing story, the book offers many insights into Tibetan soci­ety, cul­ture, beliefs and class struc­ture which I found very inter­est­ing. I don't know much about the Chi­nese inva­sion or Tibetan cul­ture and I'm glad to say I learned many things from read­ing this book.

    Even though the book tack­les some com­plex sub­jects, the writ­ing is sim­ple, elo­quent and the story is read­able. Even though the Chi­nese pro­pa­ganda makes them seem as the lib­er­a­tors of Tibet, most peo­ple, includ­ing many Chi­nese nation­als I can assume, know this is sim­ply that - propaganda.

    The author, an activist to free Tibet, tack­les not only the issues which her grand­mother had to tackle, but she also tack­les them from today's stand­point. After all, there is a whole new gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese which con­sid­ers Tibet part of China.

    This is an impor­tant book and I think Ms. Brauen did a great favor to the Tibetan com­mu­nity in Dias­pora and in gen­eral with this pub­li­ca­tion. I have never read any mem­oir of Tibetan refugees and what they went through. Not only a refugee, but a mother of a refugee who must sur­vive hunger, dis­ease, hos­tile locals and, what we would con­sider, slave labor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    informative and touching

    This book gives the reader an overview but not too much information on Tibet and hardships these women endured. It gives a great feeling for family and family connections of these three women. The Grandmother and Mother were so courageous and the daughter gives them great credit. Love and Tradition kept the family connected and supported them when life was difficult. I loved the way the author honored her past and heritage.

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