Talented writer/translator Tenzin Dickie has just come out with a new anthology of Tibetan short stories: Old Demons, New Deities: 21 Short Stories from Tibet with OR Books. This collection brings together fiction from Tibetans living in occupied Tibet and those of us writing in exile.
For someone who has lived apart from my ancestral land for my entire life against my choice, this book represents an important unification with my fellow Tibetan writers.
For a nation that now lives only in the imagination, for writers who all live outside the Tibet of our past, I love the poetry of claiming that all of 21 stories come “from Tibet.” This declaration is bold and heartening.
I’ve begun to read the stories and am blown away by our diversity. The years spanned by this collection. The experiences. The light and the heavy dramas. The pride and the shame of our struggle.
I’m proud to have a short story of mine, “Light,” included. I wrote this 8 years ago, in the summer before I began my MFA program. It’s the last story I wrote in the voice of a child, but it might also be my favorite.
Thank you to Dickie and OR Books for making this important collection happen. May there be many more.