In 1994, Xinran met a woman whose story was so extraordinary, it came to obsess her. Of all the Chinese women that Xinran had interviewed for her radio programme (famous in China for its discussion of women's lives), Shu Wen had endured things far beyond the imagination of most people. For over thirty years, she had wandered the empty, silent mountains of north Tibet in search of her husband, a Chinese soldier who was missing in action. She had gone there in the 1950s as a young woman in her prime; she had returned to China grey-haired and utterly changed by her experiences. Shu Wen's life story, brilliantly recreated by Xinran, gives a unique, moving and unforgettable insight into the landscape, religion and nomads of Tibet. At the same time it illuminates the complex and emotional relationship between the Tibetans and Chinese, uncovering the history that lies behind it. But, above all, this is an epic love story - the tale of a woman who adored her husband so much, she gave up everything she knew to travel thousands of miles to one of the most intimidating countries in the world.
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