By Demick, Barbara
For centuries, Tibet was known as a hermit kingdom. Its charms were hidden by the natural barrier of the Himalayas to its west and by a reclusive theocratic government ruled by a succession of Dalai Lamas...Nowadays it is not the Tibetans shutting the door, but a paranoid Chinese... Communist Party. China has ruled Tibet since 1950, and is a most unwelcoming gatekeeper. In Eat the Buddha, Barbara Demick, award-winning author of Nothing to Envy, journeys to a small town high on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. The residents of Aba have been in an uneasy compromise with the Chinese for decades, living nomadically on the plateau in the summer and moving to concrete housing in the winter, sending their children to monasteries to be educated, practising polyandry as is their custom-yet all the time subject to oppressive restrictions. Travelling in disguise to evade the Chinese authorities, Demick interviewed Tibetans over three years- among them a novice monk contemplating protest suicide, the last princess of the region exiled during the Cultural Revolution and a young woman trapped in a bigamous marriage. Weaving together their stories with the history of China's dominance over Tibet, she creates a vivid portrait of the lives of a people locked in a struggle for identity and independence.Read more
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Barbara Demick is the New York correspondent of the Los Angeles Times. She has lived in and reported from China, North Korea, South Korea, Tibet, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has written three books- Logavina Street- Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood, Nothing to Envy- Ordinary Lives in North Korea and now Eat the Buddha- Life and Death in a Tibetan Town. Demick is the winner of Britain's Samuel Johnson Award for best non-fiction, the George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, as well as the Osborn Elliot Prize for Journalism from the Asia Society and the Overseas Press Club, the American Academy of Diplomacy's Arthur Ross Award and Stanford University's Shorenstein Award for best Asia reporting. She has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
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