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Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet

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Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet Cover

ISBN13: 9781400095643
ISBN10: 1400095646
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 2002 Xinran’s Good Women of China became an international bestseller, revealing startling new truths about Chinese life to the West. Now she returns with an epic story of love, friendship, courage and sacrifice set in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Based on a true story, Xinran’s extraordinary second book takes the reader right to the hidden heart of one of the world’s most mysterious and inaccessible countries. In March 1958, Shu Wen learns that her husband, an idealistic army doctor, has died while serving in Tibet. Determined to find out what happened to him, she courageously sets off to join his regiment. But to her horror, instead of finding a Tibetan people happily welcoming their Chinese “liberators” as she expected, she walks into a bloody conflict, with the Chinese subject to terrifying attacks from Tibetan guerrillas. It seems that her husband may have died as a result of this clash of cultures, this disastrous misunderstanding. But before she can know his fate, she is taken hostage and embarks on a life-changing journey through the Tibetan countryside — a journey that will last twenty years and lead her to a deep appreciation of Tibet in all its beauty and brutality. Sadly, when she finally discovers the truth about her husband, she must carry her knowledge back to a China that, in her absence, has experienced the Cultural Revolution and changed beyond recognition. . .

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

It was 1994 when Xinran, a journalist and the internationally acclaimed author of The Good Women of China, received a telephone call asking her to travel four hours to meet a woman who had just crossed the border from Tibet into China.

Xinran made the trip and met the woman, called Shu Wen, who recounted the story of her thirty-year odyssey in the vast landscape of Tibet. In Sky Burial, Xinran has re-created Shu Wens journey, painting an extraordinary portrait of a woman and a land, each at the mercy of fate and politics. It is an unforgettable, ultimately uplifting tale of love, loss, loyalty, and survival.

About the Author

Xinran is the author of The Good Women of China, a seminal work about the lives of Chinese women. She was born in Beijing in 1958, and by the late 1980s had become a successful Chinese journalist. In 1997 she moved to London, where she currently writes a regular column in The Guardian.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Gypsi, June 5, 2010 (view all comments by Gypsi)
Sky Burial is based on a true story as it was told to the author, Xinran, by the principal character, Shu Wen. Wen's young idealist husband is an Army doctor in 1950's China, sent to Tibet during the time of China's "liberation" of Tibet. They had only been married three weeks when he left, and around 100 days after his departure she received a letter stating he was dead. The lack of explanation of death gave her a hope that perhaps he really wasn't dead, just lost, and she joined the Army as well, in her husband's unit. Herself a dermatologist, they were only too glad to of her request to be sent to Tibet--doctors were much needed on the front. Shortly after reaching Tibet, however, Wen is separated from her unit and spends the next thirty years wandering with a family of nomadic Tibetans, never giving up hope that she will find the answer to her husband's disappearance.

The writing is sparse and without a lot of descriptions, and whether it is intentional or because Xinran is in fact a journalist and not a novelist, it works wonderfully for both the untamed Tibetan landscape and the slowly unfolding, sometimes bleak but always beautiful, story.

The reader follows Wen, amazed at her tenacity as the years go by, at her unwillingness to give up against such odds. As she becomes more and more comfortable in her Tibetan ways, the reader sees Wen falling in love, unknowingly, with Tibet--and does the same, openly embracing this wild country. Like Wen, the reader can not give up hope, knowing there will be an answer to Wen's search, because such determination and love does not go unrewarded.

Subtitled "an epic love story of Tibet", Sky Burial is just that--a love story of a woman for a country as well as her husband; a love story of the reader for Tibet, for Wen, and for Xinran for giving such a gift.
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Shoshana, February 24, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
Billed as nonfiction, but I can't quite shake a feeling of artifice. The frame is a classic fictional device: "I met a mysterious stranger who had obviously been through some great sorrow. She told me her story. I recount it here for you. It is unlikely and involves high romance and high tragedy. Then the mysterious stranger disappeared, and I am left with my many questions."

This might be a true story of a Chinese woman searching for her husband in the vastness of China and Tibet after his military unit reports him dead. However, I don't believe it. I've never read an account of the Chinese invasion of Tibet that felt like fluffy beach reading. Both professional reviewers and readers seem to share my sense that if this story is true, it has been liberally fictionalized. The publisher refers to it as "based on a true story," which sounds like fiction to me. In fact, many reviewers slip and refer to it as a "novel." As a work of nonfiction, it is not credible. As a novel, it over-relies on coincidence and is rather soppy and sentimental.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400095643
Author:
Xinran
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Translator:
Tyldesley, Esther
Translator:
Lovell, Julia
Author:
Xue, Xinran
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Romance - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.98x5.22x.60 in. .56 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Asia » Tibet

Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400095643 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , It was 1994 when Xinran, a journalist and the internationally acclaimed author of The Good Women of China, received a telephone call asking her to travel four hours to meet a woman who had just crossed the border from Tibet into China.

Xinran made the trip and met the woman, called Shu Wen, who recounted the story of her thirty-year odyssey in the vast landscape of Tibet. In Sky Burial, Xinran has re-created Shu Wens journey, painting an extraordinary portrait of a woman and a land, each at the mercy of fate and politics. It is an unforgettable, ultimately uplifting tale of love, loss, loyalty, and survival.

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