search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
Sky Train
Tibetan Women on the Edge of History
Canyon Sam  

$29.95 Paperback
Release Date: 10/1/2009
ISBN: 9780295989532    

278 Pages

Distributed for University of Washington Press


About the Book

Foreword by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Through a lyrical narrative of her journey to Tibet in 2007, activist Canyon Sam contemplates modern history from the perspective of Tibetan women. Traveling on China's new "Sky Train," she celebrates Tibetan New Year with the Lhasa family whom she'd befriended decades earlier and concludes an oral-history project with women elders.

As she uncovers stories of Tibetan women's courage, resourcefulness, and spiritual strength in the face of loss and hardship since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, and observes the changes wrought by the controversial new rail line in the futuristic "new Lhasa," Sam comes to embrace her own capacity for letting go, for faith, and for acceptance. Her glimpse of Tibet's past through the lens of the women - a visionary educator, a freedom fighter, a gulag survivor, and a child bride - affords her a unique perspective on the state of Tibetan culture today - in Tibet, in exile, and in the widening Tibetan diaspora.

Gracefully connecting the women's poignant histories to larger cultural, political, and spiritual themes, the author comes full circle, finding wisdom and wholeness even as she acknowledges Tibet's irreversible changes.

About the Author(s)

Canyon Sam is a San Francisco writer, performance artist, and Tibet activist. Her one-woman show The Dissident was critically acclaimed in the Village Voice and the Boston Globe. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

1. Sky Train
2. Morning on the Changtang
3. Lhasa
4. Crossing the Himalayas
5. Dharamsala
About the Author


"Canyon Sam's Sky Train powerfully moves the heart, as it brings to life deep truths about our world today, about Tibet, the land and people and especially its outstanding women. Just as important is the author's own revelatory discovery of 'Tibet' as a compassionate, wise, and down to earth state-of-mind essential to the survival of the whole world. Words cannot express how wonderful is this honest, generous, and perceptive book." - Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University

"Years ago following her ancestral roots to China, but finding instead Tibet as a spiritual home, Canyon Sam made a miracle of a journey. Now in Sky Train she guides the reader on a life-changing adventure back to Tibet after more than twenty years and an epoch of cataclysmic change to produce a miracle of a book."
-- Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior

"A book that is sure to illuminate a Tibet so many of us have been longing to know."
-- Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

"Through the experiences of older Tibetan women, the author offers a captivating journey spanning half a century and several countries. Sky Train conveys women's lessons of community-building, generosity, faith, and determination. A beautiful, moving, riveting book."
-- Valerie Matsumoto, UCLA

"This book about the Dharma of connection, of companioning, of compassion, has strengthened my own devotion."
-- Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life

"It is Canyon Sam's love for Tibet - its culture and its people - that makes this book so special. An important work . . . poignant and inspiring."
-- Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

Asian Studies
Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Sky Train from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure