Red Poppies

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Red Poppies

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If we had a historian now, hed be standing behind me, licking the tip of his pencil Set in 1930s Tibet, this extraordinary novel is narrated by the idiot second son of powerful Chieftain Maichi. From a seven-storey mountaintop fortress, the chieftain and his sons survey their estate and divert themselves with comely women and blood feuds. One day a Han Chinese official appears with lavish gifts and a promise: plant these seeds and watch your wealth multiply. Chieftain Maichi carpets his valley with opium, and the poppies squeeze out their white sap as if the earth were crying. When rival chieftains seize the seeds, poppies are frantically grown at the expense of grain, and serfs begin to starve. While our narrator falls in and out of delirious carnal love, the balance of power grows fragile as snow, and by the time the Red Chinese arrive in 1950 the chieftains dont have a prayer. Written and translated in shimmering, youthful prose, Red Poppies explodes the myth of Tibet as a land of pious austerity. The first Tibetan epic by an ethnic Tibetan, it won Chinas top literary prize after its hard-won publication, and is set to become a classic. Chinese literature has never seen a work such as Red Poppies . . . it is a true masterpiece. Mo Yan, author of Red Sorghum and The Republic of Wine A riveting tale of a culture and era long gone and destined never to return. An important literary event as Tibetans inside China begin to write about their own culture. A.T. Grunfeld, author of The Making of Modern Tibet Red Poppies tells the story not of a calm, peace-loving and meditative land, but of a fragmented borderland imbued with character and colour a land of chieftains and their whims, arrogance and devious rule. It also describes the life of a people caught between West and East the tenuous links with the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the high temple of Lhasa on the one side, and the more powerful collaboration with Han China and Beijing on the other between holding on to the past, and the calls of the modern world. The story is set in those turbulent years when the calm days of these borderlands are disturbed by the arrival of opium with a Han emissary from Beijing. It tells about the developments that ensued: the greed for opium at the cost of grain the advent of the powerful guns of silver and the scourge of syphilis and finally, the occupation, when everything changed. Time speeded up, and events occurred faster and faster, as if theyd never slow down again. Alai uses a simple, spirited language to tell his story. It is a language supple enough to accommodate the strange things it tells ofasides and complaints from the narrator, who is not always reliable and then, magic realism and dreams, omens and prophecies. But it also speaks of war and sex and love of family quarrels and family warmth and, ultimately, of the politics of human relationships. The Statesman

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If we had a historian now, hed be standing behind me, licking the tip of his pencil Set in 1930s Tibet, this extraordinary novel is narrated by the idiot second son of powerful Chieftain Maichi. From a seven-storey mountaintop fortress, the chieftain and his sons survey their estate and divert themselves with comely women and blood feuds. One day a Han Chinese official appears with lavish gifts and a promise: plant these seeds and watch your wealth multiply. Chieftain Maichi carpets his valley with opium, and the poppies squeeze out their white sap as if the earth were crying. When rival chieftains seize the seeds, poppies are frantically grown at the expense of grain, and serfs begin to starve. While our narrator falls in and out of delirious carnal love, the balance of power grows fragile as snow, and by the time the Red Chinese arrive in 1950 the chieftains dont have a prayer. Written and translated in shimmering, youthful prose, Red Poppies explodes the myth of Tibet as a land of pious austerity. The first Tibetan epic by an ethnic Tibetan, it won Chinas top literary prize after its hard-won publication, and is set to become a classic. Chinese literature has never seen a work such as Red Poppies . . . it is a true masterpiece. Mo Yan, author of Red Sorghum and The Republic of Wine A riveting tale of a culture and era long gone and destined never to return. An important literary event as Tibetans inside China begin to write about their own culture. A.T. Grunfeld, author of The Making of Modern Tibet Red Poppies tells the story not of a calm, peace-loving and meditative land, but of a fragmented borderland imbued with character and colour a land of chieftains and their whims, arrogance and devious rule. It also describes the life of a people caught between West and East the tenuous links with the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the high temple of Lhasa on the one side, and the more powerful collaboration with Han China and Beijing on the other between holding on to the past, and the calls of the modern world. The story is set in those turbulent years when the calm days of these borderlands are disturbed by the arrival of opium with a Han emissary from Beijing. It tells about the developments that ensued: the greed for opium at the cost of grain the advent of the powerful guns of silver and the scourge of syphilis and finally, the occupation, when everything changed. Time speeded up, and events occurred faster and faster, as if theyd never slow down again. Alai uses a simple, spirited language to tell his story. It is a language supple enough to accommodate the strange things it tells ofasides and complaints from the narrator, who is not always reliable and then, magic realism and dreams, omens and prophecies. But it also speaks of war and sex and love of family quarrels and family warmth and, ultimately, of the politics of human relationships. The Statesman
Additional Information
Title Red Poppies Height
Alai Width
ISBN-13 9780143028499 Binding Paperback
ISBN-10 #0143028499 Spine Width
Publisher Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd Pages 424
Edition 2010 Availability Out Of Stock

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