The Song of King Gesar

For more rights information Contact Us

More About This Title The Song of King Gesar


The Song of King Gesar is one of the world's great epics, as significant for Tibetans as the Odyssey and Iliad for the ancient Greeks, and as the Ramayana and Mahabarata in India. Passed down in song from one generation to the next, it is sung by Tibetan bards even today. Set partly in ancient Tibet, where evil spirits mingle with the lives of humans, and partly in the modern day, The Song of King Gesar tells of two lives inextricably entwined. Gesar, the youngest and bravest of the gods, has been sent down to the human world to defeat the demons that plague the lives of ordinary people. Jigmed is a young shepherd who is visited by dreams of Gesar, of gods, and of ancient battles while he sleeps. So begins an epic journey for both the shepherd and the king. The willful child of the gods will become Gesar, the warrior-king of Ling, and will unite the nation of Tibet under his reign. Jigmed will learn to see his troubled country with new eyes, and, as the storyteller chosen by the gods, must face his own destiny.


Alai was born in 1959 in Sichuan Province, of Rgyalrong Tibetan descent. As well as critically acclaimed collections of poetry, short stories, and essays, he has written a number of novels, including Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet, which was shortlisted for the 2002 Kiriyama Prize. Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin are award-winning translators who have rendered the works of many of China's and Taiwan's finest writers into English. They live in Boulder, Colorado.