In 1982, while he was still a schoolboy, Patrick French met the Dalai Lama for the first time. Ever since, he has been fascinated by TibetÃ¢Â�Â�s people, its history, and its recent plight.
For centuries, Tibet has occupied a unique place in the Western imagination: romantic, mysterious, a remote mountain kingdom of incarnate lamas and nomadic herdsmen, of gold-roofed monasteries and hidden valleys which hold the secret of eternal youth. In recent years, Tibet has acquired an additional resonance as the oppressed vassal of its mighty neighbour China. Its plight has attracted Hollywood stars, and the exiled Dalai Lama has become the global embodiment of spiritual attainment and unflagging commitment to his nation.
Tibet, Tibet has its origins in Patrick FrenchÃ¢Â�Â�s twenty-year involvement in the Tibetan cause. Part memoir, part travel book, part history, it is a quest for the true Tibet.
On his journey, Patrick French is continually sidetracked by a cascade of information, thoughts and reflections on such subjects as how to blind a cabinet minister using a yakÃ¢Â�Â�s knucklebones, the correct method of travelling across a desert by night, and the reasons for the Dalai LamaÃ¢Â�Â�s transformation into Ã¢Â�Â�an unknown dark-brown bird, bigger than a normal ravenÃ¢Â�Â�. Patrick French has found a new way of writing about a place and its history. He fascinatingly illuminates one of the most persistently troubling of international issues, and confirms his reputation as one of the finest writers at work today.
'A gripping mix of history, travel writing and personal memoir... vividly told.' Observer'An accomplished writer and a keen observer (French) reports his findings vividly... French's reporting is excellent and this is an enjoyable and informative tour of Tibet.' The Guardian'First hand accounts of everyday experiences gleaned from close contact with Tibetan priests, politicians and peasants illuminate this moving book of modern day Tibet.' The Times
Patrick French's first book, Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize. For his second, Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division, he was named the 1998 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Patrick French is a director of Free Tibet campaign, and a former editor of Tibet News.