Across Many Mountain by Yangzom Brauen
I've clearly heard of the "Free Tibet" movement, and growing up I remember seeing the Buddhist monks walking around Long Beach (coincidentally for me the Long Beach Buddhist temple is even visited in the book), but honestly I know very little about Tibet and its history. This is technically a memoir, but reading it you can't help but learn for more than you'd expect to, especially considering its genre.
The author, Yangzom Brauen, starts off telling us her grandmother's story of life as a nun in Tibet. About halfway through it shifts to her mother, who with her family left Tibet as a refugee at age six to go to India. The last few chapters are the author's own story of her childhood in Switzerland.
The book was hard for me to read. Not necessarily emotionally (although it had its moments), but more that it was detailed and slow to read. It does feel a little one-sided since we don't hear the Chinese point of view, but being that's it's a memoir it is expected. It paints a vivid picture of what living in Tibet in the early 20th century was like, and explains the basics of the "Free Tibet" movement and why it's needed. Included in the information I received from the publisher was a quote on the book from the Dalai Lama, which does give the book a certain credibility.
If you have even a slight curiosity about Tibet I would recommend this book. Going into the book, I didn't have a strong desire to learn more about their situation, but am definitely glad I stuck through the book, since I learned a lot. It isn't necessarily a quick read, but I think it's definitely one you'll remember.
Disclosure: I was provided this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.
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