On the Road Again

In 1985, writes Ma Jian, he headed from Beijing to Tibet hoping to "work out what I should be doing with my life." Ma, like so many discontented romantics, envisioned the Himalayan land as a spiritual refuge from the modern world. But it was just a dream. What he discovered instead was a place whose heart had been ripped out. The few temples that remained after years of cultural and political purges by the Chinese government were guarded by soldiers and littered with slogans instructing allegiance to the Communist Party. The Dalai Lama had been exiled for more than three decades,...

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