Time, love and distance

Cover of "Sky Burial"

Cover of Sky Burial

Hm, so is this the second or third book of Xinran‘s I’ve read, considering I started China Witness before it, but am still about halfway through that?

30. Sky Burial by Xinran

This book could so easily be a novel, and as a foreigner I wouldn’t know how plausible it then was. I have enough confidence in what I’ve read of Xinran’s work to believe it isn’t, however. What it is, is a fascinating insight into Tibet and China over the past few decades, as well as a lyrical evocation of loving relationships of different kinds. A number of marriages are key, although none of them meet the usual expectations of most of us, whether Shu Wen’s where she and her husband were separated after just 100 days and she slipped into an entirely different life searching for him, Zhuoma’s family and fortunes being turned upside-down and the long mutual search for the man she loved, or the Tibetan family that takes Wen and Zhuoma in of Gela, his brother Ge’er and their wife Saierbo. I think I want to read this again already.

What this book doesn’t try to do is really explain the politics and background of the dispute over Tibet and its status vis-a-vis China, and I feel I do need to learn more about that. It does show a taste of how these issues are perceived by a few of the people on the ground, however.

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