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 impression of this quite different medium.

The Yellow Leaves of Summer (1995)

Written by Tashi Palden Translated by Riika J. Virtanen   One Some parents in the countryside have such a deep love for children they choose to have many sons and daughters. Even though they know that later on their upbringing will cause great hardships. They have a naturafaversion to sending t

The Glory of the Wind Horse (2002)

Written by Tashi Dawa Translation by Herbert J. Batt Published in Mānoa 12, no.2 (2002), 96-113   Ugyen walked into the camp: forty or fifty tents squeezed together on a stretch of ground that looked like a garbage dump. It had just rained. The blazing sunlight heated the steaming odors inside

The Joys and Sorrows of a Naktsang Kid

An autobiographical account by Naksang Nulo of his experiences of a child in Amdo in the 1950s, describing the impact of Chinese communist reforms in 1958, and his family's desperate attempt to flee from military attacks, imprisonment and starvation.

Red Poppies

1. Wild Thrushes IT SNOWED that morning. I was in bed when I heard wild thrushes singing outside my window. Mother was washing up in a brass basin, panting softly as she immersed her fair, slender hands in warm milk, as if keeping them lovely were a wearisome chore. She flicked her finger against th

Tomorrow’s Weather Will Be Better

Written by Tashi Pelden Translation by Yangdon Dhondup Published in Mānoa 12, no.2 in 2002   1. He drove his ox and his shaggy donkey, loaded with sacks of dung, along the rough, winding mountain path toward the little village that lay on the hill ahead. On his own back he carried a sack of she

Journal of the Grassland

Written by Yangtso Kyi Translated by L. Hartley Published in Manoa 12, no.2 in 2000; originally published in Beacons (ATA Journal of Literary Translation) 4 in 1998. ——————— Written in Serzang Tang in X, on the x day of x 198x 1 “Now if you wanna talk

An Old Nun Tells Her Story

Written by: Geyang Translated by Herbert Batt ———————– The month I was born, my mother dreamed that there was a gold buddha as long as her arm inside our stove. As she carefully lifted it out, the buddha’s head fell off. Several days later, I was

A God without Gender

Written by Yangdon Translated by Herbert Batt ——————— She gazed around. Everywhere were lustrous purple willows and houses. She didn’t understand what the steward shouted to her. She turned, looked back, saw the dome of a gigantic white stupa towering

Your Birth Day

by Dondrub Gyal. The original Tibetan-language work was printed in all three editions of Light Rain (Sbrang char) in 1983, 1994, and 1997. This translation originally appeared in Song of the Snow Lion: New Writing from Tibet, a special issue of the University of Hawaii’s journal Manoa, volume