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Sky Burial by Xinran
  

Sky Burial

Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

As a journalist and broadcaster in China, Xinran encouraged women to come forward and tell their tales. The result was astonishing and The Good Women of China, the seminal book, developed from the material. This extraordinary story expands one of those tales. It tells of a wife’s search for her husband in Tibet, a love story, a history, a clash of cultures. Quite devastating.

If you like Xinran you might also like to read books by Adeline Yen Mah and Anchee Min.

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Synopsis

Sky Burial by Xinran

In 1994, Xinran met a woman whose story was so extraordinary, it came to obsess her. Of all the Chinese women that Xinran had interviewed for her radio programme (famous in China for its discussion of women's lives), Shu Wen had endured things far beyond the imagination of most people. For over thirty years, she had wandered the empty, silent mountains of north Tibet in search of her husband, a Chinese soldier who was missing in action.

She had gone there in the 1950s as a young woman in her prime; she had returned to China grey-haired and utterly changed by her experiences. Shu Wen's life story, brilliantly recreated by Xinran, gives a unique, moving and unforgettable insight into the landscape, religion and nomads of Tibet. At the same time it illuminates the complex and emotional relationship between the Tibetans and Chinese, uncovering the history that lies behind it. But, above all, this is an epic love story - the tale of a woman who adored her husband so much, she gave up everything she knew to travel thousands of miles to one of the most intimidating countries in the world.


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Reviews

As a young girl in China Xinran heard a rumour about a soldier in Tibet who had been brutally fed to the vultures in a ritual known as a sky burial: the tale frightened and fascinated her. Several decades later Xinran met Shu Wan, a Chinese woman who had spent years searching for her missing husband who had been serving as a doctor in Tibet; her extraordinary life story would unravel the legend of the sky burial. For thirty years she was lost in the wild and alien landscape of Tibet, in the vast and silent plateaus and the magisterial mountain ranges, living with communities of nomads moving with the seasons and struggling to survive. In this haunting book, Xinran recreates Shu Wen's remarkable journey in an epic story of love, loss, loyalty and survival. Moving, shocking and, ultimately, uplifting Sky Burial paints a unique portrait of a woman and a land, both at the mercy of fate and politics.


About the Author

Xinran

Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958. In the late 1980s she began working for Chinese radio and went on to become one of China's most successful journalists. In 1997 she moved to London, where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women's lives The Good Women of China. She now has a regular column in the Guardian.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th July 2005

Author

Xinran

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Author's Website

www.xinranbooks.co.uk/
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Publisher

Vintage

Format

Paperback
176 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Autobiography: general
Travel writing
True stories of heroism, endurance & survival

ISBN

9780099461937

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