Review: Across Many Mountains, A Memoir by Yangzom Brauen
Author: Yangzom Brauen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 2011
Labels: Tibet, China, India, Family, Buddhism
Rating: 4 Stars
Three generations of women of Tibetan ancestry are told. Kunsang, the matriarch and a Buddhist nun, left Tibet with her family crossing in to India on foot. Her daughter Sonam grew up in abject poverty in India. As a young woman she met a Swiss traveler and student of Buddhism. Their relationship changed the direction of all their lives. Their daughter Yangzom is the author of this book.
A favorite topic in books for me is to read memoirs of people who've triumphed over obstacles.
Enough information is given in the synopsis of the front cover of the book that I knew Kunsang and Sonam survived their arduous journey to India. I knew that at some point Sonam would marry a westerner that gave the women a chance to leave India and poverty behind. I knew Yangzom was the author of "their" stories.
But, it was all the in-between stories of their lives I was interested in knowing about. I was also hoping to learn a bit about Tibet, and Buddhism. This last point was a driving force throughout the book. The women's faithful belief to Buddhism. A religion that was as apart of them as their own skin.
Kunsang and Sonam's stories are dominant, whereas Yangzom has a smaller part. She is the author, yet she takes a backseat so to speak because her mother and grandmother had such dramatic stories to tell.
Across Many Mountains, gave me a view through a lens I not seen through before. I knew little about Tibet's history, Buddhism, or the Dalai Lama.
|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bhavachakra.jpg/Wheel of Life|
Why did I give Across Many Mountains, 4 stars?
- The book gave me a view I'd not seen before: Tibet, Buddhism, how India treated these Tibetan refugees, assimilation into the western world for these women, Dalai Lama, and China's political takeover and influx of Tibet.
- Triumph over poverty, disease, loss of loved ones, homelessness, despair.