White Crane, Lend me Your Wings: A Tibetan Tale of Love and War (HB)


Author: Tsewang Yishey Pemba

9789385285622 | HB | pp. 468 | 2017 | Niyogi Books

White Crane, Lend me Your Wings by Tsewang Yishey Pemba skilfully weaves a tapestry of characters to depict the people of Tibet in a time of great upheaval.

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A posthumous novel by Dr Tsewang Yishey Pemba, the founding father of Tibetan-English literature, White Crane, Lend me your Wings is a historical fiction set in the breathtakingly beautiful Nyarong Valley of the Kham province of Eastern Tibet in the first half of the twentieth century. Dr Pemba skillfully weaves a dazzling tapestry of individual lives and sweeping events creating an epic vision of a country and people during a time of tremendous upheaval. The novel begins with a never-told-before story of a failed Christian mission in Tibet and takes one into the heartland of Eastern Tibet by capturing the zeitgeist of the fierce warrior tribe of Khampas ruled by chieftains. This coming-of-age narrative is a riveting tale of vengeance, warfare and love unfolded through the life story of two young boys and their family and friends. The personal drama gets embroiled in a national catastrophe as China invades Tibet forcing it out of its isolation. Ultimately, the novel delves into themes such as tradition versus modernity, individual choice and freedom, the nature of governance, the role of religion in people’s lives, the inevitability of change and the importance of human values such as loyalty and compassion.

Tsewang Yishey Pemba







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Niyogi Books





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About the Editor

TSEWANG YISHEY PEMBA was born at Gyantse in Tibet in 1932. His father, a Tibetan cadre officer in the British Trade agency, brought him out of Tibet for formal schooling at the age of nine and enrolled him in the Victoria Boys School at Kurseong near Darjeeling in 1941.

He was the first Tibetan to become a doctor and surgeon in Western medical science from the University of London in 1955. He was awarded the prestigious Hallet Prize by the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, in 1966. Dr Pemba also founded the first hospital of Bhutan in 1956 and was a member of the Bhutan delegation to WHO in Geneva in 1989.

Dr Pemba wrote the first Tibetan English novel, Idols on the Path (1966), and an autobiography, Young Days in Tibet (1957), in English. He passed away on 26 November 2011. He is survived by four children.


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