Celebrating the E-book of Last Seen in Lhasa - Claire Scobie
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Celebrating the E-book of Last Seen in Lhasa

Celebrating the E-book of Last Seen in Lhasa

Celebrating the E-book of Last Seen in Lhasa1_230312This week I’m delighted to share the news with you all that my travel memoir Last Seen in Lhasa is being launched as an e-book on Kindle on 31st March. (I will make the link live as soon as I can for instant download!) Not only does this mean another outing for the work, it also makes it accessible to a new audience.

These days many books go out of print within a couple of years, so the fact that mine is still selling six years later is exciting news.

People still ask whether I always intended to write a book and why I did it. The first few times I went to Tibet, I did as a journalist. I’d always dreamed of writing a book—who doesn’t? But it took quite a few years before I committed to the project.

During all this time I made copious notes and have a shelf-ful of journals. I also became very active in the Tibet cause and my perspective shifted from a journalist, to someone raising awareness about it.

The decision to commit

Five years after my first trip, in 2002, I saw this extraordinary documentary called Yogis of Tibet.

For those of you who haven’t read my book, it centres around my friendship with a wandering Tibetan nun who I call Ani. While I knew she was a yogini (a female yogi), I didn’t know how few women practitioners like her were left.

After watching this documentary I realised that Ani is the last of a generation. That clinched my decision to write my book about her, our friendship and my seven journeys to Tibet.

Prior to this, she’d given me permission to write in general about her. I then went to Tibet again and told her what I intended to do. She generously shared many stories with me about her life, her spiritual tradition and her family.

Once I knew I was writing a book, I was worried it would change my relationship with Ani. I didn’t want my later journeys with her to become ‘research’. Thankfully, nothing changed. I think that was because we had a strong foundation: we were friends first and foremost.

Claire Scobie and truck en route to Mt KailashThe result

Every month I still receive emails from readers asking after Ani. Her story has touched over 20,000 people, probably many more. For me, that’s deeply humbling. I only wish she could know all of that.

The situation in Tibet is appalling right now. Over the past year, 29 Tibetans have self-immolated. That’s right, they’ve set themselves on fire as a protest to Chinese rule. This isn’t the place to have a political rant, but for those who care, there are some amazing Tibet organisations—Australian Tibet Council, International Campaign for Tibet and Free Tibet—who are working hard for the plight of the Tibetan people.

I worked on my book for nine years. I now know it has captured a snapshot in time. Every ounce of effort was worth it.

So for all of you writing a book, the road may be long, but the rewards are great—and often unexpected.

Keep on trucking!

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