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A Year in Tibet: A Voyage of Discovery

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Accompanying a major BBC series, 'A Year in Tibet' follows the author and crew as they live for eighteen months in a remote village in Tibet. The book provides an insight into the relationship between the Chinese and Tibetans, the history behind it and the way the two interact in the 21st century.
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Brian
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A perceptive perspective on Tibet, the author is a Chinese woman who was raised in China but later studied in Britain. She was in a remote part of Tibet making a film for the BBC for 18 months. We are used to reading about Tibet from a Western perspective. So this book is quite unique. When Sun discussed the Cultural Revolution with Tibetans she could offer her perception of what she experienced in China.

“My grandma, like most Chinese of her generation, was a Buddhist. Her sole consolation was t
...more
Cara Cross
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading this, I feel as if I have a new understanding of a world I never knew existed. Despite feeling as if the story was disjointed and moved slowly, the connection with the characters was genuine and heart warming.
Shirley
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Shirley by: David Clarke
Shelves: nonfiction, 2010
The author, Sun Shuyun, filmed Tibetans near the town of Gyantse, for a year (2006-2007). She got to know one Tibetan family really well in particular and focused the book on them, which was interesting. I certainly had no idea that polyandry was so common among Tibetans (especially the ones who live in the countryside - as most do - as opposed to in Lhasa). The Tibetan family has one wife who's married to three brothers; the oldest brother is mentally impaired - the author thinks it might have ...more
Yvonne
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3.5 stars. My frustration was that although I enjoyed the book, I felt I hadn't come to grips with the country or its people and there were still so many unanswered questions. It seems it is impossible to find those answers, if one looks at the author's comment at the end. Although she had studied and lived in the country she states that she is all too aware of the 'limitations of presenting Tibet'. "It requires a lifetime, if not several, to understand Tibet".
Jennifer
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is written by a Chinese woman who was making a documentary about a Tibetan village. I enjoyed the information about the shaman and how he rectified traditional vs. modern medicine. I really want to try yak butter tea, just once.
Kristi
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up thinking it was a novel. I didn't realize until I started reading that it was a true account of a film-maker and her year filming in Tibet. I didn't like it at first, having a hard time following the characters, but they grew on me.
Christie Parkin
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book, but I would have like some more in depth goings on. This has made me want to find out more about Tibet.
kagami
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: china
This was a very interesting insight into daily life in present-day Tibetan countryside - all the more so because of the author's predominantly Chinese, but also English background.

Some of the questions the author asks seem strange to a westerner, for example during the funeral rites for a dead person, the author wants to ask the shaman whether there really are spirits roaming out there. Well, I thought, how is he supposed to know for sure? He obviously believes in them so can you just respect t
...more
Changeling72
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shuyun and her crew established themselves in a Tibetan town for a whole year and followed the lives of a bunch of the townsfolk, but in particularly a shaman and his family in a nearby village. It was only on reading this book that I realised that polygamy is practised in Tibet. As a Chinese, Shuyun provides a sympathetic, even empathetic on occasion, view of the lives of the often desperately poor natives on this mountain kingdom. She reflects on the crucial role of the Buddhist religion in Ti ...more
Tal S
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book, other
another book for book club, this is a non-fiction account of a year (2006/7) the author spent in Tibet filming for a documentary. as i havent seen the documentary, the book did feel somewhat incomplete.

it deftly combines present-day Tibet with it's history (esp the 1960s, during the Cultural Revolution), relations with China and the tension therein.

it's not my usual taste, but it was an interesting (albeit short) read of a culture all its own.
Kit
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bio
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paige
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I found this interesting overall, it was also worthwhile to come at Tibet from this perspective--there are so many similarities of speaking from a position of privilege, even when one is a person of colour.
Steve Castley
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sun Shuyun shares an interesting memoir with her readers. Marriage practices, death rituals and daily life are all shared. I enjoyed reading this book and looking through a window at another world.
Fran
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Very interesting material and point of view - a Chinese perspective on a regional community in current day Tibet.
Vanessa
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book of the TV programme. Very interesting, with more details and information about the people and customs, with insight into everyday lives and how tradition merges into modern.
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Sun Shuyun was born in 1963. She graduated from Beijing University and won a scholarship to Oxford. A filmmaker and television producer, she has made documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, and the Discovery Channel.

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