Remembering Tomorrow, by Gu ru 'phrin las

small Softcover, 156 pages, new

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Contextualized in flawless English, Gu ru 'phrin las is familiar but also removed from the world he describes. His 19 stories exceed childhood reminiscences in their collective memory of the Tibetans with a herding background raised in a black yak-hair tent but who now rarely see such a tent. The stories are of an unsophisticated, impoverished life, dotted with compassion but they do not avoid brutality and revengeful emotions integral to this life. Antagonistic values and tangled emotions are mirror-like, one reflecting the other. A girl admires children changing grass-insoles during the New Year, but the same children admire her for sleeping as long as she wants. A boy understands his brother, "the crazy monk," more profoundly than his father. 8 yaks paid for the death of a poor boy is compared to 80 yaks in compensation for the revenge death of a rich boy. Challenging the reader, are these memories or imaginings, fictional creations or lived realities, remnants of the past or tomorrow's authenticities?

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