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Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town

| Spiegel & Grau | 7/28/2020

ISBN-10 : F762631723   ISBN-13 : 9780812998757   List Price : $28.00

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Overview

A gripping portrait of modern Tibet told through the lives of its people, from the bestselling author of Nothing to Envy.

&;You simply cannot understand China without reading Barbara Demick on Tibet.&;&;Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition 

Just as she did with North Korea, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick explores one of the most hidden corners of the world. She tells the story of a Tibetan town perched eleven thousand feet above sea level that is one of the most difficult places in all of China for foreigners to visit. Ngaba was one of the first places where the Tibetans and the Chinese Communists encountered one another. In the 1930s, Mao Zedong&;s Red Army fled into the Tibetan plateau to escape their adversaries in the Chinese Civil War. By the time the soldiers reached Ngaba, they were so hungry that they looted monasteries and ate religious statues made of flour and butter&;to Tibetans, it was as if they were eating the Buddha. Their experiences would make Ngaba one of the engines of Tibetan resistance for decades to come, culminating in shocking acts of self-immolation. 
 
Eat the Buddha spans decades of modern Tibetan and Chinese history, as told through the private lives of Demick&;s subjects, among them a princess whose family is wiped out during the Cultural Revolution, a young Tibetan nomad who becomes radicalized in the storied monastery of Kirti, an upwardly mobile entrepreneur who falls in love with a Chinese woman, a poet and intellectual who risks everything to voice his resistance, and a Tibetan schoolgirl forced to choose at an early age between her family and the elusive lure of Chinese money. All of them face the same dilemma: Do they resist the Chinese, or do they join them? Do they adhere to Buddhist teachings of compassion and nonviolence, or do they fight?
 
Illuminating a culture that has long been romanticized by Westerners as deeply spiritual and peaceful, Demick reveals what it is really like to be a Tibetan in the twenty-first century, trying to preserve one&;s culture, faith, and language against the depredations of a seemingly unstoppable, technologically all-seeing superpower. Her depiction is nuanced, unvarnished, and at times shocking.

"Set in Aba, a town perched at 12,000 feet on the Tibetan plateau in the far western reaches of China that has been the engine of Tibetan resistance for decades, Eat the Buddha tells the story of a nation through the lives of ordinary people living in the throes of this conflict. Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick illuminates a part of China and the aggressions of this superpower that have been largely off limits to Westerners who have long romanticized Tibetans as a deeply spiritual, peaceful people. She tells a sweeping story that spans decades through the lives of her subjects, among them a princess whose family lost everything in the Cultural Revolution; a young student from a nomadic family who becomes radicalized in the storied monastery of Kirta; an upwardly mobile shopkeeper who falls in love with a Chinese woman; a poet and intellectual who risks everything to voice his resistance. Demick paints a broad canvas through an intimate view of these lives, depicting the tradition of resistance that results in the shocking acts of self-immolation, the vibrant, enduring power of Tibetan Buddhism, and the clash of modernity with ancient ways of life. Her depiction is nuanced, unvarnished, and at times shocking"--

An award-winning journalist presents a gripping portrait of modern Tibet told through the lives of ordinary people living in the throes of conflict as they lead the resistance against Chinese occupation.

Product Details

  • ISBN-10: 0812998758
  • ISBN-13: 9780812998757
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 224
  • Dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.00 (d)
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