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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

High Peaks Pure Earth Summer 2010 Reading List

July 23, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth
July 20, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth has updated the winter
holiday reading list to create the Summer 2010 reading list!

With these reading lists, High Peaks Pure Earth
recommends books for those interested in Tibet
and particularly in Tibetan literature in
translation. Click on the links below to see the books on Amazon.

If you have read any of these books, leave a
comment or short review ... if you have any of
your own recommendations, please let us know!

On Tibet and Tibetan Literature:

"Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change" by
Lauran R. Hartley and Patricia Schiaffini-Vedani (eds.)

Published in June 2008 by Duke University Press,
"Modern Tibetan Literature and Social Change"
provides an overview of modern Tibetan literature
(literature from the last 30 years). This
collection of essays brings together fourteen
Tibetan literary scholars who examine the
literary output of Tibetan authors writing in
Tibetan, Chinese, and English, both inside and outside Tibet.

"The Culture of the Book in Tibet" by Kurtis R. Schaeffer

Published in June 2009 by Columbia University
Press, "The Culture of the Book in Tibet" is the
first volume to trace the singular history of the
book in Tibetan culture as material, intellectual and symbolic object.

"The Struggle for Tibet" by Wang Lixiong and Tsering Shakya

Published in November 2009 by Verso Books, "The
Struggle for Tibet" features two leading Chinese
and Tibetan intellectuals in a landmark exchange
of views. Additionally, Wang and Shakya each
offer their analyses of the 2008 events in Tibet.

"Lhasa: Streets with Memories" by Robert Barnett

Published by Columbia University Press in July
2010, this is the paperback edition of the 2006
hardback that explores Lhasa lyrically and
powerfully. Robert Barnett delves into Lhasa's
past, the buildings and the city streets,
interwoven with his own recollections of unrest
and resistance. To read more about the book go to
this page of the Columbia University Press website.

"Tibet's Last Stand?: The Tibetan Uprising of
2008 and China's Response" by Warren W. Smith

Published in November 2009 by Rowman and
Littlefield, "Tibet's Last Stand?" is the first
book-length analysis of the 2008 Tibetan protests.

"One Hundred Thousand Moons: An Advanced
Political History of Tibet" by Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa

Published by Brill's Tibetan Studies Library in
November 2009, this is the much awaited English
edition of Shakabpa's two volume history book
originally written in Tibetan and translated and annotated by Derek F. Maher.

"Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History" by Canyon Sam

Published in October 2009 by University of
Washington Press, "Sky Train: Tibetan Women on
the Edge of History" combines personal narrative
with modern Tibetan history based on the
perspective of Tibetan women. The author
travelled in Tibet in 2007 and interviewed
Tibetan women from all walks of life both inside and outside Tibet.

"Authenticating Tibet: Answers to China's 100
Questions" by Anne-Marie Blondeau and Katia Buffetrille

Published in March 2008 by University of
California Press, "Authenticating Tibet" collects
balanced responses by international scholars to
100 Questions about Tibet and the Dalai Lama that
provide an accurate, historically based assessment of Tibet's past and present.

"Like Gold that Fears no Fire: New Writing from Tibet"

Published by International Campaign for Tibet and
launched in October 2009 at the Frankfurt
International Book Fair, "Like Gold that Fears no
Fire" is a new collection of writings by Tibetans
inside Tibet and opens with an original article
by Woeser. The publication can be downloaded from this page on the ICT website.

"Murder in the High Himalaya" by Jonathan Green

Published by Public Affairs in June 2010, "Murder
in the High Himalaya" tells the true story of two
young Tibetan women who decided in August 2006 to
escape Chinese rule in Tibet and flee to
Dharamsala, India. Through a secretive
underground network of Tibetan guides, the two
friends, along with four dozen other refugees,
embarked on a perilous journey that would lead
them to Nepal along a dangerous former trade
route: the Nangpa La Path, through Cho Oyu
Mountain. On September 30, 2006, after weeks of
harrowing travel, as they were nearing the border
of Nepal, the band of refugees was fired at by
the Chinese Army Guards. Kelsang, sick,
frost-bitten, and delirious in the high altitude
was struck by a bullet from behind. This event
was witnessed by a group of Western mountain
climbers including Sergui Matei, a Romanian
hiker, who captured Kelsang's murder on video.

The murder of a young Tibetan nun by the hands of
Chinese border guards at the rooftop of the world
offers a unique parable for the tale of modern
Tibet. Read an extract that was published in the Daily Mail in the UK here.

"Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World -
Tibetan Buddhism and Today's World" by Samdhong Rinpoche

Published by World Wisdom Books in October 2006,
this is a series of in-depth interviews with the
present Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche on his
views on politics, religion, philosophy and non-violence.

Tibetan Poetry in Translation:

"The Nine-Eyed Agate: Poems and Stories" by
Jangbu, Translated by Heather Stoddard

To be published at the end of July 2010, The
Nine-Eyed Agate is a collection of poetry and
stories by Chenagtsang Dorje Tsering, alias
Jangbu. More information from the publishers, Lexington Books, here.

"Tibet's True Heart: Selected Poems" by Woeser, Translated by A.E Clark

Published in 2008 by Ragged Banner Press,
"Tibet's True Heart" is the first collection of
poetry in a single volume by Woeser in English.
Sample poems from the volume can be read on the
website of Ragged Banner and the High Peaks Pure
Earth review of the volume can be read here.

"In the Forest of Faded Wisdom: 104 Poems by
Gendun Chopel," Translated by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Published in November 2009 by University of
Chicago Press, "In the Forest of Faded Wisdom" is
a collection of new translations of poetry by
Gendun Chopel from Tibetan into English. Gendun
Chopel wrote poetry throughout his life and this
volume is a good introduction to one of Tibet's
foremost twentieth-century cultural figures.

Tibetan Literature in Translation:

"Tales of Tibet: Sky Burials, Wind Horses and
Prayer Wheels" by Herbert Batt (ed.)

Published in July 2001 by Rowman And Littlefield,
"Tales of Tibet" brings together fiction on Tibet
in translation by Tibetan and Chinese writers such as Tashi Dawa and Alai.

"A Blighted Flower and Other Stories," Translated by Riika J. Virtanen

Published in November 2000 by Paljor
Publications, this volume of short stories is
still one of the few publications that offer
English translations of work by Tibetan writers
such as Dhondup Gyal, Tenpa Yargya and Tashi Palden.

"Song of the Snow Lion: New Writing from Tibet"
(Manoa 12:2) by Frank Stewart (ed.)

Published in October 2000 by University of Hawaii
Press, "Song of the Snow Lion" features fiction,
poetry and essays from Tibet and an overview
essay by guest co-editor Tsering Shakya.

Biography / Autobiography:

"Jesuit on the Roof of the World: Ippolito
Desideri's Mission to Tibet" by Trent Pomplin

Published in October 2009 in USA and to be
published in January 2010 in UK by Oxford
University Press, "Jesuit on the Roof of the
World" is the first full-length study in any
language of Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733), a
Jesuit explorer and missionary who travelled in Tibet from 1715 to 1721.

"Memories of Life in Lhasa Under Chinese Rule: An
Autobiography" by Tubten Khetsun

Published in February 2008 by Columbia University
Press, Khetsun's autobiography was translated
into English by Matthew Akester. In his book,
Khetsun describes everyday life in Lhasa after
1959 based on his personal experiences firstly in
prison and labour camps and then later during the
launch of the Cultural Revolution. The book also
contains several photographs taken by Woeser's
father, Tsering Dorjee, during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet.

"Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama's Account
of 40 Years Under Chinese Rule" by Arjia Rinpoche

Published in March 2010 by Rodale Books,
Surviving the Dragon is the life story of Arjia
Rinpoche. At age two, Arjia Rinpoche was
recognised as the incarnation of the founder of
the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and was made
the abbot of Kumbum Monastery. He relates
witnessing the torture and arrest of his monastic
family as a young boy. In the years to come he
managed to survive under harsh Communist rule, as
he was forced into hard labour and had to endure
public humiliation as part of Mao's Communist "reeducation".

After the death of Mao he rose to prominence
within the Chinese Buddhist bureaucracy with the
help of the Panchen Lama. In doing so, he was
coerced into publically supporting China's
increasingly anti-Tibet agenda, including taking
part in carefully orchestrated rituals engineered
to undermine the authority of the Dalai Lama.
Spiritually and morally depleted, Rinpoche
eventually escaped and now lives in America. Read
an extract from the book here.

Tibetan Fiction in English:

Falling Through the Roof by Thubten Samphel

Although not a work of translation, High Peaks
Pure Earth recommends this first piece of fiction
by Thubten Samphel (born in Tibet, educated in
India) that was published in early 2009 by Rupa &
Co and focuses on a group of Tibetan students at
Delhi University. Following on from Tsewang
Pemba's 1966 work Idols on the Path and Jamyang
Norbu's The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes: The
Missing Years published in 2002, Samphel is the
third exile Tibetan to tackle the novel form in
English. Read a review of "Falling Through the
Roof" from Himal magazine on the website TibetWrites.
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