Tales of Tibet

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Vivid images of Tibet spring to life in this landmark book, the first to offer a selection of fiction by Tibetan authors, both men and women, ever published in the English-speaking world. In translation from the original Chinese, contemporary Tibetan and Chinese writers lead us to a numinous land above the clouds. Narratives of Tibetan hunters, Buddhist rituals, and burial ceremonies lure us into haunting and unfamiliar settings where life, death, love—the universal themes of literature—assume a magical aura. The...
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Overview

Vivid images of Tibet spring to life in this landmark book, the first to offer a selection of fiction by Tibetan authors, both men and women, ever published in the English-speaking world. In translation from the original Chinese, contemporary Tibetan and Chinese writers lead us to a numinous land above the clouds. Narratives of Tibetan hunters, Buddhist rituals, and burial ceremonies lure us into haunting and unfamiliar settings where life, death, love—the universal themes of literature—assume a magical aura. The Tibetan writers depict the struggles of contemporary Tibet through the eyes of traditional Buddhist culture. The Chinese authors use that same culture to create an alternative oriental model for China as it confronts a tidal wave of western rational materialism. Thus the drama of contemporary Chinese culture is shifted into a unifying Tibetan perspective: time revolves in an eternal circle, progress is illusion, and all actions lead to nothing. These literary gems—several banned in China—will captivate students and general readers looking for a unique encounter with a Tibet struggling to maintain its age-old civilization under the cultural onslaught of the Chinese regime.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The first secular, literary anthology of its kind in English. . . . A collection of 14 gritty stories, the book features a solid preface by Tsering Shakya, which offers excellent context for Batt's strong translations. . . . An engaging, purposeful anthology. Highly recommended.
Asian and African Studies
[Tales of Tibet] should be read by all those who are interested in current development in Tibet and who are fond of good literature.
— Martin Slobodnik
Tibet Alive
Offers a fascinating insight into the way Tibetans perceive themselves and the way they are seen by their colonisers.
Persimmon
An exciting anthology that will not disappoint literature lovers. Herbert Batt has translated into English for the first time some of the best stories about Tibet written in Chinese. His solid translations meet the challenge of rendering in English such varied literary styles as realism, magical realism, and even surrealism….A splendid foreword by Tsering Shakya introduces the difficult and almost unstudied subject of modern literature produced in the Tibetan territories.
World Literature Today
[T]his collection…is of the utmost importance….The “Tibet” evoked in these stories is haunting—the characters are rich and deep, and the styles of the writers are subtle and poignant.
New Left Review
A landmark. . . . What we find inside...is a body of work to be marveled at, that has as yet hardly been seriously studied in the languages in which it is written, let alone in English. . . . They reward the reading of anyone interested in contemporary fiction....Great art is rare to come by, and the splendours of Tibetan New Fiction have not yet received the tribute they deserve.
CHOICE
The first secular, literary anthology of its kind in English. . . . A collection of 14 gritty stories, the book features a solid preface by Tsering Shakya, which offers excellent context for Batt's strong translations. . . . An engaging, purposeful anthology. Highly recommended.
Asian and African Studies - Martin Slobodnik
[Tales of Tibet] should be read by all those who are interested in current development in Tibet and who are fond of good literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742500532
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/15/2001
  • Series: Asian Voices Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 296
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Herbert Batt is a poet and translator. He received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Toronto and has taught in China and Poland.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Vagrant Spirit Chapter 4 A Fiction Chapter 5 A Ballad of the Himalayas Chapter 6 Encounter Chapter 7 Tibet: A Soul Knotted on a Leather Thong Chapter 8 The Glory of a Wind Horse Chapter 9 For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 10 An Old Nun Tells Her Story Chapter 11 A God without Gender Chapter 12 The Circular Day Chapter 13 Wind over the Grasslands Chapter 14 In Search of Musk Chapter 15 The Blind Woman Selling Red Apples Chapter 16 The Weevil Chapter 17 The Final Aspersion Chapter 18 Glossary
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