Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
the bestselling author of The Good Women of China,
Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet
a deeply affecting tale about a
woman's thirty-year search for her husband in the isolated, hauntingly
beautiful land of Tibet.
Written with lyrical eloquence, Sky Burial
is many things at
once--a love story, a mystery and a tale of adventure. The following
questions were written to help you and your reading group explore all
the different themes of this fascinating tale.
- What is
a 'Sky Burial'? How does this differ from the traditional Western burial
- Sky Burial is set in Tibet. How did this story open your eyes to
life in Tibet and how much did you know about this country before
reading the book?
- Why did this Chinese woman --Shu-Wen, in her twenties--go to Tibet
in 1958? Why were the Chinese at war with the Tibetans?
- Shu-Wen survived in Tibet for many, many years and began her
journey with no knowledge of Tibetan language, customs, culture and
religion? What does this say about her character? How do you think most
people react to such a foreign environment?
- What surprised you about Shu-Wen's daily life in Tibet? How did
these things differ from Shu-Wen's life in China? How do these things
differ from your life?
- After finding out what happened to Kejun what do you think of his
actions? Would you have made the same choice if faced with this
- What changes did Shu-Wen find in her home town when she returned?
How did she react to them? At that point, do you think Shu-Wen
identified herself as Chinese or Tibetan?
- Did Shu-Wen regret going to Tibet? If so, why? What point did the
author want to make through telling Shu-Wen's story?
- Some would call Sky Burial a love story? Would you agree?
- Sky Burial has been selected as a book used to study Chinese
history in Australia and it has been published in over 20 languages.
What makes this book different from other books on Tibet?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Anchor Books.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.