Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet

Front Cover
HMH, May 6, 2003 - Fiction - 448 pages
5 Reviews
This suspenseful saga of Tibet during the rise of Chinese Communism “conjures up a faraway world . . . panoramic and intimate at the same time” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

A lively and cinematic twentieth-century epic, Red Poppies focuses on the extravagant and brutal reign of a clan of Tibetan warlords during the rise of Chinese Communism. The story is wryly narrated by the chieftain’s son, a self-professed “idiot” who reveals the bloody feuds, seductions, secrets, and scheming behind his family’s struggles for power. When the chieftain agrees to grow opium poppies with seeds supplied by the Chinese Nationalists in exchange for modern weapons, he draws Tibet into the opium trade—and unwittingly plants the seeds for a downfall. A “swashbuckling novel,” Red Poppies is at once a political parable and a moving elegy to the lost kingdom of Tibet in all its cruelty, beauty, and romance (The New York Times Book Review).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dwhill - LibraryThing

A wonderful novel that compares favorably with Graves's I, Claudius. Alai takes you into the corrupt heart of early 20th Century Tibet with the surety of a master storyteller. Read full review

RED POPPIES

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Debut fiction describing the bloodstained last days of Tibetan chieftains before the Chinese communists took over their lands in 1949.The tale is set in the Tibetan borderlands during the first half ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Part II
37
Part III
77
Part IV
109
Part V
151
Part VI
189
Part VII
219
Part VIII
255
Part IX
289
Part X
321
Part XI
363
Part XII
395
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 35 - The words were on the tip of my tongue, but I didn't dare say them, since I wasn't altogether sure what it was that I could see of tomorrow.

About the author (2003)

Alai is a Chinese novelist and poet of Rgyalrong Tibetan descendent.

Bibliographic information