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Like Gold that Fears no Fire: New Writing from Tibet

November 23, 2009

Like Gold that Fears no Fire
October 18, 2009
International Campaign for Tibet

A new collection of writings by Tibetans inside
Tibet, including extracts from books that are
banned by the Chinese government and work by
writers now in prison, was launched today
(October 18) by the International Campaign for
Tibet at the Frankfurt International Book Fair,
the biggest literary trade event in the world
(details of event below). The Chinese government
is Guest of Honour at this year's fair (October
14-18), and has caused controversy by seeking to block dissident voices.

The book can be downloaded for free at:
The cover can be downloaded at:

The new book, "Like Gold that Fears No Fire: New
Writing from Tibet" features stories of
imprisonment, interrogation, death and loss, as
well as perspectives on a better future that
reveal an unquenchable spirit and deeply-felt
Tibetan identity. The stories, poems and essays
in this rich and diverse collection focus on the
experiences of Tibetans since a wave of
overwhelmingly peaceful protests swept across
Tibet from March 2008, to be met by a violent
crackdown. Writers and artists are among hundreds
of Tibetans who have faced torture and
imprisonment for peaceful expression of their views.

In one book that was banned as soon as it was
published in Tibet, a writer reflects: "In a year
that turned out to be like a raging storm... how
could we remain... in fear. [This work is] a
sketch of history written in the blood of a generation."

Since the protests began, the Chinese government
has sought to cover up the disappearances and
killings that have taken place across Tibet
combined with a propaganda offensive against the
exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama. The
Tibetan writers featured in the book, most of
whom are still in Tibet and China, dare to
challenge China's official version of events ­
representing a more profound challenge to the
Communist government than ever before.

"Like gold that fears no fire" opens with an
original article by the most well-known Tibetan
writer Woeser, an accomplished poet and one of
the most eloquent and fiercest analysts of
Chinese oppression in Tibet. Woeser's important
and powerful article outlines the importance of
story-telling for an oppressed people to affirm
their history and identity. Woeser argues that
the events of 2008 are as significant in
contemporary Tibetan history as those of March
1959, when tensions against the Chinese presence
in Tibet escalated into an uprising, and led to
the Dalai Lama's escape into exile.

Like Gold that Fears no Fire also features:

* Reflections on Tibetan identity today by a
blogger: "[Tibetans] are no longer just trying to
fit into the Chinese national story; instead they
are creating their own.  It is a new cultural
moment... [young Tibetans] are starting to have
the chance to be many things and at the same time still be Tibetan."

* Powerful poetry by writers inside Tibet and in exile

* The diary of an interrogation by a Tibetan writer

* An essay by Tibetan scholar Lamajabb, who finds
the cause of the protests that convulsed the
plateau not in some phantom instigation of the
'Dalai clique' but "in the tragic Tibetan history
that began in the 1950s and the shortcomings of China's Tibet policy"

* Lyrics of a song by monks imprisoned in Tibet

* Contemporary art by Tibetan artists now in exile with commentary

* The first English translation of a section of a
book by Tibetan author Dolma Kyab, serving ten
and a half years in prison as a result of his manuscript

Launch of book at literary salon, Frankfurt, October 18

"Like Gold that Fears No Fire: New Writing from
Tibet," was launched at a literary salon
organized by ICT on Sunday, October 18, featuring
actor and activist Hannes Jaenicke and a Tibetan
literature scholar. Venue: Frankfurt Book Fair, Forum Dialogue, 6.1. E 913.
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