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Michael F. (Providence, RI)
A tragic history, lovingly told
This memoir is a touching and personal portrait of Tibet and Tibetans through three generations of women, whose story, though long on the periphery of my knowledge, I never really knew. This family history, lovingly told by the granddaughter, Yangzom Brauen, and deftly translated by Katy Derbyshire, paints a vivid picture of life in traditional Tibet, up to and beyond the point where it is disrupted by Chinese incursion. Brauen’s grandmother, a Buddhist nun, is a central figure of archetypal stature who anchors the family for the full extent of the tumultuous 20th Century and beyond, from the homeland bravely onward into exile. History is nothing more than the accumulation of individual narratives, and ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS is a worthy addition to the grand and tragic historical narrative of Tibet.
Cynthia S. (Rensselaer, NY)
Across Many Mountains
Three generations of Tibetan women share their lives and culture. Kungsang, Sonam and Yangzom relate their family struggles under the Chinese rule in Tibet. Across Many Mountains is a must read and relates much history of a people who remain true to their identity even in exile.
A must read for all
I have to say this is a great memoir and can't stop talking about it. The story of each of the three women is so enlightening and inspiring.
Across Many Mountains
The love and determination to not only survive but, to keep familial traditions, religious values, and their heritage alive for other generations is the core. From this core we as readers, learn of the history of Tibet as told from the point of view from a Tibetan Nun before the Chinese overthrew their peaceful existence. Also, the trials of a child growing into adulthood trying to navigate the world while trying to hold onto the old life but forging forward to embrace new societal actions. And the far removed child that has no knowledge of the life of her family except for stories, speaking just enough of a soon to be lost language and observing a dying form of religion.
A wonderful read, I encourage all to read this memoir.
I enjoyed this book because it informed me about the plight of the Tibetan people under Chinese domination and about the Buddhist way of living. It is written in a straight forward manner and could be classified as a young adult book. I would like to see it receive plenty of publicity to raise awareness of this situation and provide ways that people could help.
Barbara H. (Richmond, IN)
Across Many Mountains
Across Many Mountains is both a memoir and an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, culture, and Chinese occupation. It tells the captivating story of a family escaping Tibet in fear of approaching Chinese soldiers.
Susan S. (Lakeville, MA)
It had me at "Hello"!
It is truly a learning experience of the lifestyles of Tibetans prior to Chinese occupation. Also, the occupation, which we seldom hear or read about, is an important part of the book's content.
In the straightforward telling the author very capably intertwines Tibet that was and the family's personal story. It is exciting, informative, and a very compelling read.
This book is written by the granddaughter of two amazing Tibetan women. She writes about her grandmother, who is a Tibetan nun, and her mother who struggled through extreme poverty and hardship to survive and educate herself. I was mesmerized by the trek to freedom across the Himalayan mountains during the winter and the deeply spiritual nature of the grandmother and her husband, a Tibetan monk. If you like books about strong, successful women, you will love this as much as I did. I finished it in a marathon reading session.
Mary H. (Okemos, MI)
Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen
I, of course, had heard of the Dalai Lama, and have seen posters and bumper stickers that say “Free Tibet”. But I never really knew what it was all about. This book gives a recent history of Tibet through the amazing experiences of three generations of women in a remarkable family. The story of Buddhist nun Kungsang and her family’s escape over the Himalayas is harrowing and moving. I kept looking at the beautiful faces of the book’s subjects on the cover and admiring them for their strength. There will be additional photographs in the finished book which will be a wonderful complement to the story. There is also a great deal about Buddhism in the book, which I found very interesting. This will be a great selection for the International Book Group I lead at our library – there will be lots to discuss.
Donna N. (High Rolls, NM)
Across Many Mountains is an exciting and unique story of the cruel subjugation of Tibet by China. Once I opened the book, I couldn't put it down. I would compare it to Elie Wiesel's "Night" - although Ms Brauen does not present any horrifying details, it illustrates the persecution of a people based on their religion, in this case Buddhism. You learn a lot about Buddhism and the way people in an isolated country can live on nothing. There is plenty of adventure and daring.This book should be read by everyone interested in human rights.