Published by Silkworm Books in October 2011, ”The Ninth Panchen Lama (1883-1937): A Life at the Crossroads of Sino-Tibetan Relations” was originally written in French by Fabienne Jagou. The book has been translated into English by Rebecca Bisset-Buechel.
This biography of the Ninth Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual authority in Tibetan Buddhism, offers new insights into the tumultuous history of the relations between China and Tibet at the start of the twentieth century. It demonstrates how the Panchen Lama’s flight from his monastery on the night of December 22, 1923, remains an essential characterizing event of Tibet’s modern history. In China, the Panchen Lama became entwined with not only the Republican government, but also the world of international politics. By the 1930s, the prelate was to find himself a pawn in a diplomatic game played by China, Lhasa, and England for control of Tibet. His flight from his country set the stage for Chinese Republican, and later Communist, control over the selection of his successors, with repercussions even today for Sino‐Tibetan relations.
The Ninth Panchen Lama (1883–1937) is the first publication in an innovative new series of research work on Asia, a collaboration between the École Française d’Extrême‐Orient (EFEO) and Silkworm Books to translate French publications for an English‐language readership.