Vicky's Reviews > Sky Burial

Sky Burial by Xinran
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's review
Feb 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ethnography, travel, war, location-asia, around-the-world, landscape-mountains

Around the World = Tibet.

One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. The writing is simple and sparse, drawing you completely into the story of Shu Wen and her quest to find what became of her husband, Kejun. For such a slim book, the scale of the story is epic, fitting the vastness of the landscape through which Wen travels and her gradual transformation from an outsider, a Chinese observing Tibetan culture, to becoming fully absorbed into the life through her everyday survival.

As an insight into the nomadic way of life in mid-century Tibet, it is fascinating and compelling, painting an intimate portrait of their traditions, spirituality, and the minutiae of day-to-day living. Xinran's understated descriptions (perhaps stemming from her background as a journalist, rather than a novelist) allow the nature of Tibet to be revealed alongside the slowly unfolding story, and you realise that it isn't just the love story of Wen and Kejun, but also a love story for Tibet, both for Wen and for the reader.

Around the World = Tibet.
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