Barbara Demick: Eat the Buddha

Barbara Demick’s new book is a powerful and challenging read on the ruthless colonization of the Tibetans by the Communist Chinese. Tibetans, particularly in Ngaba town, do not get the fundamental rights like most Chinese citizens. They have no right to study their own language nor the right to practice their religion. As a result, Tibetans turned to self-immolations. Demick’s reporting on auto-cremation is soul crushing. It gives me a chill just to imagine drinking and soaking yourself in gasoline then lighting yourself on fire. With Demick’s meticulous, brave investigative reporting and articulate storytelling, this book is hard to read, yet harder to put down. I am grateful for her work and this book will stay with me for a long time. The human rights crisis in Tibet makes me realize how fortunate we are living in a democratic country. We need to defend and protect our democracy.