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From: China Daily 2011-12-21 11:26:00
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A novel of epic proportions

Tibetan author Alai's King Gesar provides easy access to the classic and lengthy adventures of the legendary ruler. Liu Jun reports.

Gigme wakes up to find himself in a pigsty, covered in manure, clueless as to his whereabouts.

"I don't deserve this! You shouldn't have treated me like this!" he yells, while children and suspicious villagers laugh.

He has every reason to be angry. For several years, he has been journeying on foot, telling stories about King Gesar, the legendary Tibetan hero whose tales are wildly popular throughout Central Asia.

Gigme, who used to be a poor illiterate herder and is blind in one eye, is one of the few gifted ballad singers who claim they were entrusted with the mission of spreading Gesar's glory in a dream.

Yet Gigme has annoyed the King by questioning the tales. In Gigme's dream, the King thrusts an arrow through the storyteller, and shoots him out of the dream. 

The epic King Gesar is one of the classics. But since it is the world's longest epic, most people have not read it.[Photo/ChinaDaily]

King Gesar (2009), a novel by Tibetan author Alai, offers easy access to this literary treasure. After much anticipation, foreign readers will finally get an English version in a year's time.

Canongate Books, the British publisher that initiated the Myth Series, for which Alai was commissioned to rewrite the Tibetan epic, will publish the English version around October 2012.

[editor : ]
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