Author reads from novel about Tibet
Special to The Union
In 1996, I began working as a psychologist with survivors of torture and Communist re-education from various parts of Asia.
These were people who couldn’t sleep more than a few hours a night, or who had panic attacks at the sight of a police officer, because it reminded them of their torturers.
Four years later, I sat down and began writing, and what emerged was the story of two American Quakers who trek over the Himalayas into Tibet in the 1950s, just as the Chinese communists are invading.
That novel, “Falling to Heaven,” has been published in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and soon, in Spanish.
In the story, trekkers Emma and Gerald quickly form warm bonds with Dorje, a Tibetan neighbor. The Communists suspect Gerald of teaching Tibetans capitalist ideas, and so the Communists abduct both him and a member of Dorje’s family, throwing them into prison for “re-education.” Dorje and his family, along with Emma, flee Tibet to go into exile.
It is my hope that “Falling to Heaven” would help readers experience the Tibetan struggle on a personal level.
I will be reading from the book at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Summer Thyme’s Cafe in Grass Valley, hosted by Sierra Friends of Tibet. The group was founded by Joseph Guida, who also hosts two radio programs on the subject – the Tibetan Radio Hour on KVMR and Tibet World Service, with http://www.OpenMindRadio.com offering live streaming.
Summer Thymes Cafe is at 134 S. Auburn St., downtown Grass Valley.
Jeanne M. Peterson is a psychologist in San Diego, where she also facilitates a writers’ group.
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