Reading guide for Sky Burial by Xue Xinran

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Sky Burial

An Epic Love Story of Tibet

by Xue Xinran

Sky Burial by Xue Xinran X
Sky Burial by Xue Xinran
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 220 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

From Xinran, the bestselling author of The Good Women of China, comes Sky 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.

Discussion Questions
  1. What is a 'Sky Burial'? How does this differ from the traditional Western burial methods?

  2. 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?

  3. Why did this Chinese woman --Shu-Wen, in her twenties--go to Tibet in 1958? Why were the Chinese at war with the Tibetans?

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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 situation?

  7. 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?

  8. Did Shu-Wen regret going to Tibet? If so, why? What point did the author want to make through telling Shu-Wen's story?

  9. Some would call Sky Burial a love story? Would you agree?

  10. 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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.