Among the English translations of literature by modern Tibetan writers that I have read, Red Poppies by Alai stands out for its stark depiction of Tibetan society and its unnatural portrayal. The content certainly caught me off guard a bit.
I was reminded of this as I learn that the writer is going to be in London in April to participate in events relating to the London Book Fair. The Book Fair has become controversial for its reliance on officially-sponsored writers from China in its focus on China this year. The situation is developing as I write this. Alai’s participation in the events will no doubt provide an added complication because of his Tibetan ethnicity.
Alai is doing a Reading and Discussion at the School of Oriental and African Studies on April 18, 2012 at 7 pm. Let us see how this rolls out.