WEB ORDERS ARE NOW CLOSED – we regret that we have had to suspend web orders until the Covid-19 social distancing precautions are no longer necessary.

Member Loginmenu
Your basket is empty
Eat the Buddha

Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town

Barbara Demick

A gripping portrait of contemporary Tibet, from the bestselling author of Nothing to Envy.

In the 1930s Mao’s Red Army fled to the Tibetan plateau to escape their adversaries in the Chinese Civil War. By the time the soldiers reached remote Ngaba, they were so hungry that they looted monasteries and ate religious statues made of flour and butter—to Tibetans, it was as if they were eating the Buddha. These experiences would make the town a hotbed of Tibetan resistance for decades to come, culminating in shocking acts of self-immolation in recent years.

Eat the Buddha chronicles the tragic history of modern Tibet through the lives of award-winning journalist Barbara Demick’s subjects. Among them are a princess whose family is wiped out during the Cultural Revolution, a young nomad who becomes radicalised in a monastery, and a schoolgirl forced to choose between her family and the lure of Chinese money.

Illuminating a society long romanticised as deeply spiritual, Demick reveals what it is like to be Tibetan today, trying to preserve one’s culture, faith and language against the depredations of a seemingly unstoppable, all-seeing superpower.

INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS

New York Times  
New York Times  
New York Times podcast (0:17:15)
New Yorker (op ed)


Barbara Demick
About the Author

Barbara Demick is the author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. She was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times and headed the paper’s bureaus in Beijing and Seoul. Her work has won many...

Read Moreright
Extent:
352pp
Format:
Paperback
Text publication date:
18 August 2020
ISBN:
9781925498783
AU Price:
$34.99
NZ Price:
$40.00
starstarstarstarstar
starstarstarstarstar
Loading Rating
Praise for Barbara Demick
andEat the Buddha

‘[An] outstanding work of journalism.’

‘Elegantly structured and written, Nothing To Envy is a ground-breaking work of literary non-fiction.’

‘A tour de force of meticulous reporting.’

‘You simply cannot understand China without reading Barbara Demick on Tibet. Her work is fair-minded, chilling, awe-inspiringly rigorous, and as vivid as cinema. Eat the Buddha is a warning to anyone who tries to analyze China through its cities: you will misread the future if you overlook the war over diversity and the struggles for cultural survival.’

‘Barbara Demick has produced an elegiac narrative of a frontier town that is a hotbed of resistance on the Tibetan plateau. With novelistic depth and through characteristically painstaking research, Demick offers a poignant reminder of the enduring power of memory to illuminate untold histories. Eat the Buddha is an exemplary piece of storytelling.’

‘Barbara Demick’s new book is essential reading for anyone interested in China and Tibet. The reporting is rich, the writing is beautiful, and the stories will stay with you. I couldn’t put it down.’

‘Deeply and meticulously researched, Eat the Buddha tells the story of the beautiful area of eastern Tibet, land of the fabled Mei kingdom, where the Tibetan people have thrived in a majestic environment for several millennia, only to suffer horrifically in the last seventy years with the invasion and colonization by the Communist Chinese. Demick is to be given highest honors for her unflinching account, and her readers will be rewarded with a transformative encounter with the real lives of some extraordinary people.’

‘Masterly…Demick covers an awe-inspiring breadth of history…[Her] method is programmatic openness, deep listening, a willingness to be waylaid; the effect, a prismatic picture of history as experienced and understood by individuals in their full amplitude and idiosyncrasy.’

Other editions ofEat the Buddha
  • Eat the Buddha
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781925410983
    18 August 2020
    Buy ebook