‘A Year in Tibet’ follows the author as she lives for eighteen months in a remote village in Tibet.
Sun Shuyun grew up in China and has always been fascinated by Tibet and Buddhism. Now, accompanied by a television crew of Chinese and Tibetans, she spent a year in a remote town in the Tibetan mountain area and recorded what life is like for the people there. After half a century of Communist rule, Gyantse, once celebrated by early twentieth-century British explorers, has like the rest of Tibet seen the return of religion and much of the traditional way of life-but for how long? Sun Shuyun explores the intimate details of the lives of a shaman and his family, or monks, a village doctor, a Party worker, a hotel manager, and a rickshaw driver. Through them she captures the tensions between Chinese and Tibetans, between an ancient and an alien culture, faith and science, continuity and modernisation. This is a book with a difference: unusually, a realistic Chinese voice is calling for better understanding of a people who try to carve out the path they desire, often against the odds, often with joy and hope. Vivid, fascinating and visually brilliant, a Year in Tibet provides a rare insight into a Tibetan community under the pressure of change: from centuries of isolation through a difficult past to an uncertain present.