In Mother-tongue Literature, I posed these questions about one Han scholar’s call for celebrating writing in China’s indigenous languages:
Who is going to write in their native language — or read what is written for that matter — if they cannot receive a decent education in it?
Those weighty questions remain unanswered, but happily, some publishers are pushing ahead to make more such fiction available to potential readers. According to a May 19 news report (藏语首部母语长篇小说丛书), a new five-volume series of novels in Tibetan has just been launched by Qinghai Nationalities Publishing (青海民族出版社). A similar item has now appeared in English (First Collection).
The promotional material states that this is the first such collection of contemporary novels in Tibetan. This may just be advertising hype, but if true, it indicates that Tibetan authors are either not writing a lot of novels in their mother tongue . . . or they couldn’t previously find publishers!
The titles and authors are as follows:
My Two Fathers by Tsering Dondrup (ཚེ་རིང་དོན་གྲུབ།, 次仁顿珠)
Yesterday’s Tribe by Tenpa Yargye (བསྟན་པ་ཡར་རྒྱས།, 旦巴亚尔杰)
Waning Crescent by Tsering Tashi (ཚེ་རིང་བཀྲ་ཤིས།,才让扎西)
Falling Stones by Phurbu Tsering (ཕུར་བུ་ཚེ་རིང་།,普布次仁)
Grand Ditch by Gangnyön (གངས་སྨྱོན།, 宽太加)
For a graphic which lists all works and authors in both Chinese and Tibetan (sorry, I can’t reproduce too clearly!), visit here.
For those of you who — like me — don’t read Tibetan, Françoise Robin (Associate Professor of Tibetan language and Literature at INALCO, France) has kindly provided me with a link to the bilingual (English and Tibetan) Latse Library Newsletter. Click here to download for free. This issue features articles on these subjects:
- Tibetan Novels: Still A Novelty. A Brief Survey of Tibetan Novels since 1985. (By Françoise Robin)
- An introduction to author Tsering Dondrup and an English excerpt from his novel, The Red Wind Scream (translated by Dr. Heather Stoddard)