Born in 1941, Tubten Khétsun is a nephew of the Gyatso Tashi Khendrung, one of the senior government officials taken prisoner after the Tibetan peoples' uprising of March 10, 1959. Khétsun himself was arrested while defending the Dalai Lama's summer palace, and after four years in prisons and labor camps, he spent close to two decades in Lhasa as a requisitioned laborer and "class enemy."
In this eloquent autobiography, Khétsun describes what life was like during those troubled years. His account is one of the most dispassionate, detailed, and readable firsthand descriptions yet published of Tibet under the Communist occupation. Khétsun talks of his prison experiences as well as the state of civil society following his release, and he offers keenly observed accounts of well-known events, such as the launch of the Cultural Revolution, as well as lesser-known aspects of everyday life in occupied Lhasa.
Since Communist China continues to occupy Tibet, the facts of this era remain obscure, and few of those who lived through it have recorded their experiences at length. Khétsun's story will captivate any reader seeking a refreshingly human account of what occurred during the Maoists' shockingly brutal regime.
Demonstrates in full detail the human tragedy of Maoist rule in a land whose tradition it despised and tried to destroy.
A welcome and informative addition on this little-understood and highly polemicized subject.
This book provides an important piece of the puzzle for those seeking to understand the experience of ordinary Tibetans since 1959.
evocatively written and beautifully translated
A powerful indictment of the physical and psychological exploitation of the Tibetan people and natural environment in the service of building a "new" China.
Benno Ryan Weiner
Translator's IntroductionPreface1. The Story of My Family2. My Childhood3. The March 10th Uprising4. The Chinese Fan the Flames of War5. Imprisoned at the Tibet Military District Headquarters6. Imprisoned at the Norbu Lingka Barracks7. At the Nga-chen Power Station Construction Site8. In Téring Prison9. In Drapchi Prison10. The Trong-nying Prison Farm11. Back Home from Prison12. The Agitation by the Muslims of Woba-ling13. The Fall of the Panchen Lama14. The Misuse of Education15. The Establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region16. The Onset of the Cultural Revolution17. The June 7th Massacre18. A Disastrous New Year19. Old Tsampa in Old Méru20. The Sino-Soviet War Brings Increased Oppression21. The "One Smash and Three Antis" Campaign22. The "Great Massacre"23. PLA Soldiers Destroy the Fruits of the People's Labor in the Marshes24. The Systematic Destruction of Ganden Monastery25. Sent to Kongpo for the Second Time26. The Xichao Dachang Timber Yard27. The Tölung Power Station Construction Camp28. The Lin Biao Affair29. The Defamation Campaign30. "Socialist Transformation"31. The Banak-shöl Production Cooperative32. The Farmer's Life33. The Death of Mao Zedong and Subsequent Developments34. The Rewards of My Hard Work35. Working in the Potala Palace36. At the Tibet Academy of Social ScienceEpilogue: Leaving TibetIndex