Lowell Cook reviews Old Demons, New Deities

Tibetan literature is a national literature that lacks a nation. You may wonder: what it is about these stories that makes them Tibetan, beyond the simple fact of the authors’ ethnicity? The writers in this collection come from a range of different backgrounds. Some are natives to Tibet; some are refugees in India and Nepal; and others live out their exile in Western countries. The stories are all originally composed in either Tibetan, English or Chinese, and their subject matter is just as diverse, from the story of a nomadic family forcibly relocated to “Happy Resettlement Village,” to that of a young nun turned prostitute who finds out she has AIDS.

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