Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

Yangzom Brauen, trans. from the German by Katy Derbyshire. St. Martin's, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-60013-6
Blending family memories with Tibet's troubled history with the People's Republic of China, Brauen reflects on three generations of women honoring their heritage despite physical, spiritual, and cultural exile. Her narrative begins nearly a century ago, when her now 91-year-old grandmother Kunsang became a Buddhist nun in a country where ritual and superstition fostered peace and stability within a rigid social hierarchy. Brauen recounts Kunsang's early years in Tibet and harrowing 1959 journey across the mountains to India with her husband and daughter, Sonam (Brauen's mother), to escape persecution from the Chinese; Sonam's awakening social conscience, marriage to a Swiss curator/activist living in the West, and career as an artist in New York; and Brauen's own conflicts as a Swiss-born political activist, actor, and model. Subtle humor lightens Brauen's urgent tone; for example, descriptions of Kunsang's and Sonam's first encounters with cutlery, and Brauen's "Pippi Longstocking childhood." Chapters in which, many years later, the family travels back to Tibet demonstrate how memory can soften harsh realities and disappointment, while Brauen's compassion inspires hope that Tibetans might one day achieve the justice they seek. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-84655-344-8
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4090-2984-7
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-8792-9
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-09-954603-0
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-1-250-01203-6
Hardcover - 481 pages - 978-1-4104-4526-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-2553-5
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