An extraordinary story of one woman's search for her roots, as she undertakes a historical, cultural and spiritual journey to retrace the steps of the seventh century monk Xuanzang, who travelled to India searching for Buddhist teachings. This is her beautiful and moving account of a remarkable personal pilgrimage, fulfilled despite a journey fraught with difficulties.
"Ten thousand miles without a cloud" is a Buddhist saying, meaning the search for a mind clear of doubts. The author grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution, but remained influenced by her grandmother's forbidden Buddhist prayers. Disillusioned with communism she discovered the fame of a true Chinese hero, Xuanzang, so she set out to find out what gave him such strength and purpose, and above all to find a faith for herself. She retraced Xuanzang's steps from China, on the ancient Silk Road through Central Asia and back - and in so doing traverses four landscapes - personal, historical, cultural and spiritual, and gives us a vivid and fascinating insight into China and its people, past and present.
"A pioneering and fascinating book. An exploration of private and collective memory and a journey in search of spirituality." The Guardian.