This is a translation of one of the most influential and important books from Tibet in the modern era, a passionate indictment of Chinese policies and an eloquent analysis of protests that swept Tibet from March, 2008 - the 'Earth Rat' year according to the Tibetan calendar - as a re-awakening of Tibetan national consciousness and solidarity.
The Division of Heaven and Earth was banned by the Chinese government on publication, and led to Shokdung being "disappeared" and imprisoned for nearly six months. This English translation is being made available for the first time since copies began to circulate underground in Tibet.
The author, Tagyal -- who uses the pen name Shokdung, meaning "morning conch"-- one of Tibet's leading intellectuals, wrote his book in response to an unprecedented wave of bold demonstrations and expressions of Tibetan solidarity and national identity.
In his foreword Matthew Akester, a Tibet specialist who translated this book into English, offers an account of the significance of these developments, which transformed the political landscape across the plateau and led to a sustained and violent crackdown by the Chinese authorities that continues to this day.
Shogdung's book is regarded as the most daring and wide-ranging critique of China's policies in Tibet since the 10th Panchen.
Division of Heaven and Earth: On Tibet's Peaceful Revolution, Shokdung, Hurst, Paperback, 2016, 162 pages, $19.95