Across Many Mountains
Book review: Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen is the remarkable true story of three generations of women from one Tibetan family, who encompass cultural extremes from old Buddhist Tibet to Hollywood glitz. The first part of the book is a gripping account of an escape, via the Himalayas, from the brutal Chinese invasion of 1950 ( which fulfilled a 1,200 year old Buddhist prophecy: ‘The Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth‘.) Part two is fascinating because of the culture clash when the Tibetans experience Western ‘civilisation’. When the family finally return to Tibet in the 1980s they find ‘a country that has been robbed of its soul’. The Chinese have suppressed the language and culture (and still do). But the book is even-handed and also has a warts-and-all picture of Old Tibet where Buddhism was influenced by folk religion. The 90 year old grandmother-nun, Kunsang, is the heart of this inspiring book.