Literature

Contemporary literature by Tibetans in Tibet has flourished since the end of the Maoist period. Numerous journals, both official and unofficial have been inaugurated since 1978 in order to showcase the work of these Tibetans, including one of the most famous new authors: the young Tibetan writer from Rebkong, Dondrub Gyal. Official journals in China have tended to characterize writing by Chinese writers about Tibet as “Tibetan literature,” but increasingly the term has come to be used for writing by Tibetans, rather than merely compositions about Tibet.

This selection of stories and poems by modern Tibetan authors in Tibet, written both in Chinese and Tibetan, gives examples of some recent work by Tibetan writers.

All excerpts and complete pieces are reproduced here with the permission of the author, their translators, and to the publishing company if any which has rights to the work in its English-language form. We are grateful to the writers, translators and copyright holders for sharing their work here.

Literary Figures

These translators, poets, essayists, and novelists have published major works of Tibetan literature, or major analyses of them, or in many cases both. This list is nowhere near exhaustive, but it includes all of the authors and translators, and most of the editors, of works we reproduce on this site

Prose

The Tibetan short story is a relatively young but vibrant medium. We could have included any number of prominent examples here, and those selected are by no means comprehensive. Our one excerpt from a full-length Tibetan work, Joys and Sorrows of a Naktsang Kid, hopefully gives the reader some small

Literary Criticism

All of the translators whose work we feature have written exemplary essays and scholarly articles that we could choose to reproduce here. These two pieces are chosen for their variety of literary works they discuss, and their influence in the academic and artistic realm of Tibetan studies.

Poetry

Poetry is the crown jewel of Tibetan literature, with many authors both of prose and of criticism starting out and ending up as poets first and foremost. A collection of pieces as small as this one cannot possibly do justice to the full breadth and depth of Tibetan poetry, but it can serve as an int