DHARAMSALA, 7 Nov: A former Tibetan journalist launched his debut Novel titled ‘The Tibetan Suitcase’ on 6 Nov at the Other Space near Illiterati Books & Coffee here in Dharamsala.
Tsering Namgyal Khortsa’s ‘The Tibetan Suitcase’ is a fictionalized story of a young and aspiring Tibetan writer born in India. It is his third book.
His other books include ‘Little Lhasa: reflections on exile Tibet’ a collection of essays he wrote about Dharamsala which was published in 2006 and biography of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje which was published in 2013.
Sharing a personal experience that centres around his novel, the author recounted one of the last reviews he received for his latest work from a Taiwanese friend of his who is a professor of political science in a British University who read the book in the last stages of the editing processes.
“ She really thanked me profusely for letting her read the book. She told me that she was going through a very traumatic experience and reading the book in a very strange way healed her,” he said and added that “that was the best compliment I had ever received. That’s what all literature aims to achieve, to heal the reader.”
The author who has previously worked as a business journalist for more than 15 years said that he wrote the book probably for himself as he says “there is no book that would mirror or lives. ”
Tsering Namgyal Khortsa was born to a Tibetan refugee family in India in 1971. He completed his schools from Dalhousie and Mussoorie before he moved to Taiwan initially as a student and later, went on to work as as a business journalist both Taiwan and Hong Kong.
He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Iowa, where he also studied fiction and literary non-fiction. He is presently based in the US.
The 248-page novel was published by Blackneck Cranes, the publishing wing of Tibet Writes and its maiden novel from the books it has published so far.
An earlier e-book edition of the novel had appeared in the US.
The book launch was followed by a discussion on the book that featured Riga Shakya from Columbia University, New York and Kaysang the author of Broken Portraits,’ a poetry book apart from the author.
Bhuchung D Sonam, a Dharamsala based well known Tibetan poet and writer who was one of the founding members of the Tibet Writes expressed his delight at the packed house crowd of Tibetans and foreigners who have turned out for the event and more so with the presence of many young Tibetans.
Tibet Writes is a small independent publisher that he co-founded with his two other friends; Tibetan activist, poet and writer Tenzin Tsundue and Tenzin Namgyal.
It was initially started with a noble mission in 2003 as a website for Tibetan writers, to display their creative writings.
By 2006-2007, as the submissions started to pour in, Tibet Writes declared that a website simply isn’t enough and started publishing.
So far, Tibet Writes has published 21 books authored by nine different Tibetan authors with 4 more books in the pipeline to be published soon.