Flowers of Lhasa
by Tsering Yangkyi
Translated from the Tibetan by Christopher Peacock
Winner of English Pen Award
Flowers of Lhasa is a stark and urgent tale of four young women thrown into the seedy underbelly of a sacred city undergoing rapid change.
After coming to the big city to look for work, a tragedy befalls Drölkar and leads her to a nightclub called the Rose and a life of selling her body for money. There, she falls in with Yangdzom, Dzomkyi, and Xiao Li. Four women––three Tibetan, one Chinese––all migrant laborers who move to the city and whose misfortunes take them down similar paths. We read of their encounters with wealthy, callous, and often violent men, their struggles to stay afloat and to support their impoverished families, and the hopes and dreams they still cherish despite it all.
Tsering Yangkyi’s novel paints a vivid portrait of Lhasa, Tibet’s cultural and religious capital. This is a holy city where thousands of pilgrims daily circumambulate the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple, but it is also a modern city, with all the problems of the modern world. While immersing us in the vibrant uniqueness of Tibetan life, Flowers of Lhasa also paints a haunting picture that deals with global and timely concerns.
About the Author
Tsering Yangkyi is one of the most recognized names in the Tibetan literary world. She began publishing fiction in the 1980s and has built up a body of work that concerns itself first and foremost with women and the underclass of Tibetan society. She began Flowers of Lhasa, her first novel, in 2009, and it took seven years to complete. When it was published in 2016, it became only the second novel by a Tibetan woman. In Tibet, the publication of her novel was immediately met with widespread acclaim, from critics and readers alike.
About the Translator
Christopher Peacock holds a PhD from Columbia University. He is a translator and a scholar of modern Chinese and Tibetan literatures. His translations of modern Tibetan fiction have appeared in journals including Chinese Literature Today, Ploughshares Solos, Pathlight, and Two Lines. He is the translator of Tsering Döndrup’s The Handsome Monk and Other Stories, one of the first collections of Tibetan fiction available in English.
Publication date: 1 June 2022
Format: Paperback (Demy octavo) 216mm x 138mm
Pages: 205 pp