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by: Bernard Teo

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Thu 27 Oct 2005

Sky Burial

Category : Commentary/SkyBurial.txt

Sky Burial by Xinran has edged out The Cliff Walk as the best book I've read this year. This book is special. I don't know how I came to know of it but I kept looking for it in the Library. When I found it, I read through it in almost one sitting. From a deceptively mushy, perhaps overly sentimental beginning, I rapidly got transfixed by it. It's simply un-put-downable.

Xinran tells the story of Shu Wen, a woman who spent 30 years wandering in Tibet looking for her husband, who was a doctor with the People's Liberation Army, who went missing without a trace.

Unable to accept that he has died, Wen persisted, living each day at a time among the Tibetans in a vast, bleak, silent yet majestic landscape, and it is through her eyes that we experience an alternate, spiritual dimension to living.

And it is because, like her, we come to accept the possibility of an other-world - one that transcends logic and embraces faith - that we're prepared for the denouement, when she finally learnt what had happened to her husband, from the man that he had saved.

It's a wonderful, moving tale of pain, loss, hope, idealism and heroism. I've been urging everyone I know to read it.

Perhaps as an antidote, if we're sick of the William Hungs and the Sim Wong Hoos.

Posted at 5:07PM UTC | permalink

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