New paperback edition. An epic story from Tibet from the author of the international bestseller, the Good Women of China. In this haunting book, Xinran recreates an extraordinary journey in an epic tale of love, loss, loyalty, and survival. Moving, shocking, and, ultimately, uplifting, Sky Burial paints a unique portrait of a woman and a land, both at the mercy of fate and politics.
In the early 1960s a rumour circulated through China that one of its soldiers in Tibet had been brutally fed to the vultures. Xinran was a little girl: the tale frightened and fascinated her. She knew nothing of the sacred Tibetan custom of sky burials, indeed few Chinese understood such rituals. But thirty years later, Xinran met a Chinese woman who could tell her the astonishing story that lay behind this legend. Her name was Shuwen and she had spent most of her adult life on the Tibetan plateau. Her husband was a doctor in the Chinese army, who soon after marriage was killed in action in Tibet. Refusing to believe the news, she too joined up as a doctor and set out through the wilds of Tibet in search of him. Many years later she would discover the truth about what had happened to her husband...and when she returned to China she was transformed: in China she had always striven towards a material goal; in Tibet she had learned a new spirituality.
"Extraordinary and haunting." Sunday Times.