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.
About a year ago, the British publisher House of Zeus reached out to me to see if I wanted to submit a piece to an anthology about Nepal. I shared some stories with them, and they selected “The Greatest Tibetan Ever Born,” which was originally published by Himal SouthAsian — a wonderful and much-needed magazine that sadly stopped running a few months ago.
The story itself is set in Toronto and Nepal, and became the germ of my novel-in-progress. Although the characters and comedic style didn’t make it into my book, the worlds they occupy still ground Transference.
Well eventually I forgot all about the anthology. And when I saw my friend Muna Gurung post that her story had come out in it, I congratulated her — not realizing that my own story was in there as well. Anyway, the anthology, House of Snow, came out in August. I’m so grateful and happy to be among some writers I admire from Nepal and elsewhere.