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A Year in Tibet [Kindle Edition]

Sun Shuyun
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £6.05 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

‘A Year in Tibet’ follows the author as she lives for eighteen months in a remote village in Tibet.

Sun Shuyun, a Chinese writer and historian, takes the reader to a tiny and isolated village in Tibet, known for its anti-Chinese stance. She and a team who were half Chinese and half Tibetan, lived and worked there for eighteen months, filming and recording daily life. ‘A Year in Tibet’ is an insight into the relationship between the Chinese and Tibetans, the history behind it, and the way the two interact in the 21st century. Written with Sun Shuyun’s characteristic insight into relationships, this is social and political history with an emphasis on humanity.

Product Description


Praise for ‘The Long March’:

'An impressive job of on-the-ground reporting, interweaving the memories of survivors to build up the narrative… ' Observer

'Sun Shuyun provides a sympathetic account, and…all the more refreshing because of the grit of her own travails.' The Times

'[Sun Shuyun's] is a lively and very human account.' Sunday Telegraph

'From the ocean of lies about the Long March she has salvaged much truth. I hope…Shuyun writes more books…' Literary Review

Praise for ‘Ten Thousand Miles without a Cloud’:

'Packed with erudition and perception…it is also honest, sensitive, entirely without ego…ultimately, a meditation on the human condition.' Evening Standard

'Sun Shuyun records her feelings and those of others with spontaneous simplicity, almost innocence, as if she were still the child seeking her grandmother's solution.' Sunday Telegraph

Daily Telegraph

'Arresting vignettes in a fascinating account of [a] personal and sometimes painful journey.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress (19 Feb. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI93MO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #259,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Heroic, wise and a great read 15 Jun. 2008
There is walking through minefields and there is writing books about Tibet. If given a choice learning to cross a minefield without getting blown up may be easier.

As an author who has written a book about Tibet myself, I am in AWE of the brilliance of Sun Shuyun's latest book. A Han Chinese writing an accurate book about what she finds living for a year in Tibet? She can expect to be shot down from all sides... the Chinese Government will shoot her down if she says anything which can be perceived as 'pro Tibet.' If she does not she can be sure that Tibet support organisations all over the world will be critical of her work - without necessarily having bothered to read it first.

What Shuyun has done, quite simply, and with the humility that permeates all her other books, is to tell the truth. Living for a year in a small village outside Gyantse she lives with the people there and becomes their friends. Tibetans do not normally take kindly to the Chinese - but Shuyun always puts cultural sensitivity before her own needs as an author and film-maker. The fact that she is making a documentary alongside the book gives her access into the daily struggles of local people, a health practitioner despairing over the high infant mortality rate, a rickshaw driver struggling up hills to earn next to nothing, a local hotel owner - glad of the visit of the Chinese approved Panchen Lama, if only because it fills his hotel. Shu doesn't need to be overtly political in her writing as she see how the policies, implemented by her own government, impact on the people that she soon grows to love. She is as critical of those policies as anyone in Britain is of government decisions which impact negatively on the disadvantaged.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
If you care about Tibet, read this book. It is a real eye-opener. I watched the documentary series Sun Shuyun directed - also called A Year in Tibet - that was shown on BBC4 in March this year. I found it fascinating, and somewhat surprising. Despite the heavy press coverage about Tibet recently, we actually know very little beyond the headlines. It is here that A Year in Tibet, both the television series and the book, makes a genuine contribution to our understanding of the daily lives and struggles of the Tibetans.

It helps that Sun and her crew of Tibetans and Chinese actually spent a year living among the Tibetans in a rented Tibetan house without running water and with an outside loo. We see the woman married to three brothers who explains how she copes with her husbands; the bride who only learned about her marriage to two brothers on her wedding day; the village priest who spits on his patients' faces to cure their toothache; the doctor who cares for 5000 villagers with only two years' training and in a poorly equipped clinic; the monastery which was burgled and investigated by the police not only for the theft but for any political dissent.

But A Year in Tibet is not just a book that accompanies a major television series. It goes much deeper, exploring intimate personal stories that shed light on the Tibetan situation. Sun is well aware of the pain of the past and the present: three members of the village priest family were forced to marry and abandon their calling; they even had to spy on and denounce each other. Today the children have to struggle to be educated in Tibetan, and their parents find it hard to make a living amid the growing Chinese presence. She makes you see why the Tibetans are so angry. Sun, a Chinese herself, even had this anger burst out at her.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving stories of 'ordinary' lives in Tibet 29 April 2008
A Year In Tibet

Here is a book that really gives you a feel for how 'ordinary' Tibetans live. It is written by Sun Shuyun, who directed the recent BBC series, A Year in Tibet.

The book goes much deeper than the film did, looking at the issues of modern Tibet through Sun's personal contact with the people she got to know during her year of filming.

From all of these encounters, Sun comes away with a much more profound appreciation of the degree to which faith and tradition lies at the very heart of most Tibetans lives. And, of course, it is exactly this deep faith and the millennia of unbroken traditions that are now under threat, due to the rapid influx of Chinese migrants and the mandatory use of Mandarin in the school systems.

Whereas Sun, a Han Chinese, was not exempt from some first-hand experiences of the anger of the Tibetans, it seems that her sensitivity to the issues confronting most Tibetans and her deep respect for the local traditions allowed her access to the thoughts and feelings of her Tibetan contacts to an unprecedented degree.

From a political point of view, it is worth noting how deftly Sun's account of her year in Tibet has been written. There is no propaganda and no polemic. Instead, by concentrating on the lives of a series of individuals, she is able to tell stories in such a way that reader is left free to interpret them as he or she wishes.

As a result, it is a valuable and timely book to read because, basically, it really does what it claims - it provides you with some very rare insights into the lives of real Tibetans.
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