From the Belly of the Beast

The story of a high lama raised in Communist China

Pico Iyer

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Surviving the Dragon: A Recent History of Tibet through the Looking-Glass of a Tibetan Lama
by Arjia Rinpoche
New York, Rodale Books, 2010
288 pp., $24.99 hardcover


Surviving the DragonBy now, many of us have read the moving testimony of Tibetan monks like Palden Gyatso, who have had to endure decades of imprisonment and torture under Chinese rule. And thanks to the voices of writers like Thubten Samphel and Tenzin Tsundue, we are starting to learn about the confusions and sorrows of exiled Tibetans who have spent half a century dreaming of a place that can no longer be the home they imagine. Even the Fourteenth Dalai Lama has twice turned his life into a blend of unabashedly human reminiscence and acute political and historical analysis to create a parable with global implications.

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