Friday, November 18, 2011

Opening Sentence of the Day: Murder in the High Himalaya


Tibet is a land of timeless, infinite expanse.
-- from the author's Introduction to Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy, and Escape from Tibet by Jonathan Green, published by PublicAffairs Books.
The scouring winds howled in from the plateau.
-- from "Songs to the Precious One," the first chapter.

Here is a synopsis from the Publisher's Weekly review:
In 2006, an impulsive, naïve young Tibetan nun and her best friend, both yearning for religious freedom from Chinese rule, joined a group of fellow Tibetans desperate to escape to India, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1950 annexation of Tibet by China. Kelsang Namtso and Dolma Palkyi embarked on the brutal journey over the Himalayas. Smuggled by illegal guides past Chinese border police, the group braved freezing temperatures and snow, the high altitude, and perilous crevasses. Green alternates the refugees' trek with that of Luis Benitez, an American celebrity mountain guide leading a rich group of international clients to the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu. The two groups met on the peak as Chinese guards, alerted to the refugees' presence, chased after the escapees with machine guns ablaze, and Kelsang was killed in full view of the Westerners. One of Benitez's clients filmed the incident, which gained worldwide notoriety.



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