Review: “Old Demons, New Deities”

We review “Old Demons, New Deities: Twenty-One Short Stories from Tibet,” edited by Tenzin Dickie.

Andrea Miller
12 December 2017

From the January 2018 issue of Lion’s Roar.


Old Demons, New Deities

Twenty-One Short Stories from Tibet

Edited by Tenzin Dickie
OR Books, 2017; 304 pp. $20 (paper)

Old Demons, New Deities is the first English language collection of contemporary Tibetan fiction. As Tenzin Dickie states in the introduction, the contributing authors offer Western readers an authentic look at the lives of Tibetans navigating occupation and exile, but they offer their fellow Tibetans a great deal more. The authors, she says, “examine and explain our heartbreak—the heartbreak of our occupation, our exile, our diaspora—and in doing so, they give us comfort, clarity, and a measure of belonging.” There are many bright lights in Old Demons, New Deities, including Pema Bhum’s “Wink,” which sheds light on the insanity of Mao Tse-tung’s regime by giving us a glimpse into the dizzyingly changing fortunes of one family.

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the editor of Lion’s Roar magazine. She’s the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life, as well as the picture book The Day the Buddha Woke Up.