HISTORY

Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town

Random. Jul. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780812998757. $28. HIST
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This latest from Demick (Nothing To Envy) replaces the mystery that surrounds discussion of Tibet in the West with candid, heartbreaking stories of real Tibetans who have lived through periods of great tumult in their homeland. The stories are beautifully rendered and walk readers through the events that shook Ngaba, a town in Tibet that became synonymous in the 21st century with tragic self-immolations, and is geographically a difficult place to visit. By showing how people’s individual lives unfolded and the hardships and dangers they endured, Demick sheds light on how Chinese oppression led many Tibetans to fight back, sacrificing their lives in the hopes of preserving their culture and their peoples’ right to freedom. Readers will be moved by the tragedies and triumphs of these unforgettable individuals and will develop a greater understanding of those who call the “rooftop of the world” their home.
VERDICT Taking a compelling approach to documenting Ngaba’s history through the eyes of its own people, this wonderfully written book will leave readers with a stronger appreciation for why the movement to support the Tibetan people deserves so much more attention.

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