Sky Burial

Not a Typical Love Story
By Xinran
Chinese, 2004
Biography/Memoir, Non-Fiction

Main Attractions

1. Short, fast read
2. Extremely simple story
3. Powerfully memorable
4. Based on a true story?!?!
5. Very different culture
6. Epic span of time
7. So much emotion, so few pages
8. Such raw love
9. Daily life of Tibetans 
10. Arm chair travelling!

Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Ice Cream & Gelato
From page one, the story is unbelievable and delicious.  It’s impossible to put down because of the poetic songlike writing.  Each page drips with exquisite language and imagery.  

Why Visit Here?

This story is stuck to me still.  I remember it clearly even after reading only one time almost 10 years ago.  It’s such a simple story with such passion within it’s pages.  It’s well written and is much simpler than Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  It’s just as exotic as Snow Flower and the language is almost as poetic.  But somehow, in it’s simplicity, the love story seems more true and pure.  Everything is perfect; the premise, set up, journey and conclusion.  Snow Flower is more of a dreamy story.  It seems less real than Sky Burial.

The Ramayana is also an epic love story.  It’s much, much longer and much, much older.  The purity of love between the two stories can be parallel.  They both reveal a lot of the culture they are set in.  That’s where the similarity ends.  One day, I’ll do a more in depth comparison of these two amazing tales of love.  They are both that epic and memorable.

Sky Burial is so simple in it’s construction that it’s difficult to see it as a solitary tale on it’s own.  It’s so moving that it brings up other moving stories I’ve read.

Off the Beaten Path

Here's a short video of the daily life of Tibetans.  It has the same peaceful feeling as this book.

Travel Advisory:

It’ll stay with you forever.  Anytime someone mentions epic love stories, I immediately think of this one.  The simplicity of the language but depth of the philosophy stayed with me.  These pages reveal a lot about Tibetan dying, culture and possibilities of love. 

Packing List
✓ Flowers, candles & wine
✓ Google for image searches
✓ A map of Tibet & China
✓ Sense of adventure
✓ Tissues for drying your eyes

Recommended Resources:
Alternate Books
✓ Tibetan Book of the Dead (First Complete Translation) Translated By Gyurme Dorje (700BC/2007)- for the cultural philosophy 
✓ History of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama By Thomas Laird (2006)- to learn the historical context
  Dhammapada Translated By Gil- beauty of Buddhist thought
✓ Another romance book? -  Nothing else has come close, except The Ramayana which is much, much longer. And much, much older.