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A personal history that tells a universal story
on 22 August 2011
This moving personal family history covering three generations of Tibetan women conveys the tragedy of the Chinese occupation of Tibet with more power than news reports or statistics. The details are different, but in a way it is a universal story not just of Tibet, but of every culture that has been purposely suppressed by another. Author Yangzom Brauen chronicles the lives of her grandmother, who has maintained the life of a Tibetan nun in all the years she's had to live abroad, her mother, who had to make a dangerous escape from Tibet as a young child, and herself, an actress and Tibetan activist. After her mother met and eventually married a Swiss man in India, Brauen was born in Switzerland, giving her a foot in both Tibet and the West and an ideal vantage point for writing this account. While in many ways Brauen has lived the life of a typical Westerner, she grew up celebrating Tibetan holidays, eating Tibetan food and listening to her grandmother's and mother's stories of life in Tibet and in exile. Across Many Mountains, which manages to be both heartbreaking and inspiring, begins when Brauen's grandmother was a young girl in a small, remote Tibetan village and continues through the 2008 Tibetan uprising and 2010 earthquake. I stayed up late reading this fascinating book, completely wrapped up in the lives of all three women.