She Still Lives: A Novel of Tibet

William A. Magee, Author
William A. Magee, Author . Snow Lion $14.95 (166p) ISBN 978-1-55939-247-1
Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
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For those who want a break from serious books about Buddhism (and virtually all books on the subject are fairly solemn), Tibetan teacher and translator Magee offers a rare and imaginative novel. Set in 22nd-century Tibet, the action centers around a future female Dalai Lama imprisoned by the Chinese, who still rule the mountainous country. The principal character is her adviser, a nationalist who loves both his country and his leader, and who has been released from prison into a dystopian society as the book opens. Magee's fluency in Tibetan allows him to authenticate the text with Tibetan words and references. He also adds some visionary touches to this future—dogs bred for empathic intuition, for example. Land mines and sex contribute danger and excitement. None of the characters is fully or persuasively drawn and so sometimes characters' motivation is thin, but the adventure and exotic aspects compensate somewhat for lack of human depth. Moral questions about using violence to achieve political ends also flow naturally from the action, making the Buddhist framework highly relevant. Magee has written a proficient novel that adds highly unusual elements to a story of love, adventure and politics. (Oct.)

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