Resisting Exile: Tashi Tsering

  • Laurie Hovell McMillin


The first indication that we are in different territory with this autobiography is suggested in the listing of its authors. For the first author of the book subtitled The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering is listed as Melvyn Goldstein rather than Tashi Tsering himself; the second author is William Siebenschuh, and the third is Tashi Tsering. Mel Goldstein has long been known as something of an enigma within Tibetan Studies: he was able to study in Tibet when few other Western scholars could; he has dared to be critical of the Tibetan government-in-exile; and he has frequently been accused of harboring pro-Chinese sentiments. (When I first entered the field and moved 30 miles away from Goldstein in Cleveland, a friend who is an established anthropologist ofTibetan culture warned me to stay away from him, intimating that he was no friend of Tibetans and no friend of ours.) It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Goldstein would break from the established tradition of emphasizing Tibetan authorship in such autobiographies in English and put his own name first, as Tashi Tsering’s primary interviewer. The second author, William Siebenschuh, is a scholar of English biography and autobiography who was enlisted in the project when Goldstein could not finish it.


Life Story Cultural Revolution Total Domination Established Tradition Chinese System 
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  1. 1.
    Melvyn Goldstein, “Preface,” The Struggle for Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1997), p. viii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Melvyn Goldstein, William Siebenschuh, Tashi Tsering, The Strugglefor Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1997), p. 79. Subsequent citations are noted by page number in the text.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Palden Gyatso, Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk (New York: Grove Press, 1997), P. 3.Google Scholar

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© Laurie Hovell McMillin 2001

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  • Laurie Hovell McMillin

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