- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (26 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007129742
- ISBN-13: 978-0007129744
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud Paperback – 26 Aug 2011
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'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.' Colin Thubron, Sunday Telegraph
‘Wild Swans meets The Alchemist.' Conde Nast Traveller
From the Back Cover
'Ten thousand miles without a cloud' is a Buddhist saying. It means the search for a mind clear of doubts: a perfect title for this remarkable book on a journey of discovery and faith.
Sun Shuyun grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. At school, it was more important to learn the right attitudes than study, and favoured activities included booing at cowering monks, teachers and landlords being paraded through the streets. But she shared a room, a bed, with her grandmother, nightly bathing her once bound feet and hearing her forbidden prayers - for her grandmother remained a Buddhist. By the time Sun Shuyun reached university, she saw the bitter disillusionment of her father and his friends - communism had not delivered their ideals - and wondered where to turn for hers.
Once outside China, Sun Shuyun discovered the fame of a true Chinese hero, known to Chinese now only as a bumbling character in a comic book. Xuanzang lived in an extraordinary, golden period of Chinese history, and was a man of such qualities that he could restore belief to all of us. So she set out to discover what gave him strength and purpose, and above all to find a faith for herself.
Sun Shuyun retraced Xuanzang's steps from China, through Central Asia to India - the journey he made to find true Buddhism - and in doing so makes a journey through four landscapes - historical, cultural, spiritual and personal, and gives us a vivid and fascinating insight into China and its people, past and present. Moving, personal, brilliantly visual, original, Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud is an extraordinary voyage of the soul.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The Cultural Revolution ended; Mao died; the open practice of Buddhism was grudgingly permitted again. Shuyun was able to go to Beijing University in 1982, and then, in 1986, to Oxford. She married an Englishman and made her home in England; she became a documentary film maker with the BBC; but the story of Xuanzang never ceased to haunt her. Ever since she had lost her teenage faith in Communism, she had felt that `something was missing'. In 1999 she decided to travel in the monk's footsteps, though she would take one year instead of eighteen; and this book is built around an account of that pilgrimage.
The immense roundabout route, starting in Xian in Northern China, was through Xinjiang (Sinkiang), along part of the Silk Road, through the blistering Gobi Desert, and eventually enters India through the North-West frontier. Xuangzang faced the danger of avalanches as he crossed the passes in the frozen Heavenly Mountains into what is now Kyrgyzstan but was then ruled by the Great Khan of the Western Turks.Read more ›
It is a great travel book, leading you mostly through parts of China and India which may not be so familiar. It is also a fascinating journey into the impact of Buddhism, from the perspective of a 7th century Chinese monk who embarked on a journey to India for elightenment, and from Sun Shuyen, following in his tracks seeking understanding of the thing that her Grandmother held in higher importance than the Party.
The book commanded my attention throughout, fed me a knowledge of buddhism, both historical and modern, and allowed me to share in Sun Shuyen's often emotional learning experience. Give it a chance - you won't be disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of buddhism,from the view of a chinese girl having been through the cultural revolution in China.Published on 29 April 2013 by eileen merryweather
Ten Thousand Miles Without A Cloud is the first book by Sun Shuyun. It details Sun's experience as she tries to follow in the footsteps on Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk who, in the 7th... Read morePublished on 26 Dec. 2011 by Cloggie Downunder
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