Author(s): Duo Ji Duo Ji Zhuo Ga
An epic saga from Tibet's bestselling author. Perfect for anyone who loved The Kite Runnerand Wild Swans.
The Changthang Plateau lies in the centre of Tibet. A vast, rolling grassland stippled with azure-blue lakes and ringed by snow peaks, it is home to seven-year-old Gongzha and his familywho live, as their ancestors have done for centuries, by herding and hunting.
But it is 1967 and the Cultural Revolutionis seeping across China. As the Red Guard systematically loot and destroy Tibet's monasteries, Gongzha helps hide two treasuresbelonging to his local temple: an ebony-black Buddha marked with an ancient symbol and a copy of the twelfth-century text The Epic of King Gesar, written in gold ink. The repercussions of his act will echo across the decades.
Gongzha will be taken far from home. He will lose love and find it. He will battle wolves, bears, outlaws and his own self, as legend and history are interwoven in the story of a young man's quest to find happinessin a time of uncertainty and unrest.
I’ve been fascinated by Tibet since my late teens and have collected books on the area. The photographic volumes have pictures, which many can conjure up, of grassland valleys studded with nomadic tents and livestock, multi coloured lakes with surrounding foothills rising up to the height of Mt Cook; and towering above all that the giant peaks of the Himalaya. This is the setting for this wonderfully romantic, epic novel. The Chinese have invaded and the Cultural Revolution is in full swing when Gongzha is a young boy. He is entrusted with hiding two treasures from the local monastery. The years go by and Gongzha finds true love, only to have it shattered when she is taken by a bear. The hard barren aspect of the landscape replaces the romantic. The bitter reality of isolation is with him as he seeks to avenge his wife, which he is honour bound to do.Will he find the bear and what connection will it have to the two treasures? Gongzha has never been able to entertain the thought of a replacement for his one great love.
A beautiful woman from the refines of Shanghai ventures into his world to explore her Tibetan ancestry. I am impressed and intrigued by this author. She is also a photographer, vice-chair of the Tibet Writer's Association and lives in Lhasa.
This novel is highly readable and her voice is refreshing and authoritative. The story suggests that aspects of traditional Tibetan ways are increasingly tolerated by a modern China. David