Old Demons, New Deities

Author: Dickie, Tenzin

Publication Date:

July 2017



Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

Old Demons, New Deities

Author: Dickie, Tenzin

  • 2 Seas Represents: French, Dutch, and Nordic rights.
  • Rights Sold: The Netherlands (De Geus), India (Navayana).


“vivid and haunting…richly varied stories…echoes of Albanian maestro Ismail Kadare may be heard.” — The New Internationalist

“A long-overdue and brilliantly edited volume on the Tibetan experience.”Gary Shteyngart

“This anthology of contemporary fiction from Tibet, with stories from Tibet as well as the diaspora, paints the most real and haunting portraits of Tibetan lives in all their complexities and contradictions. Old Demons, New Deities is a unique contribution to world literature.”Tsering Shakya, Canada Research Chair, Religion & Contemporary Society in Asia, University of British Columbia

The first English-language anthology of contemporary Tibetan fiction available in the West, Old Demons, New Deities brings together the best Tibetan writers from both Tibet and the diaspora, who write in Tibetan, English and Chinese.

Modern Tibetan literature is just under forty years old: its birth dates to 1980, when the first Tibetan language journal was published in Lhasa. Since then, short stories have become one of the primary modern Tibetan art forms. Through these sometimes absurd, sometimes strange, and always moving stories, the English-reading audience gets an authentic look at the lives of ordinary, secular, modern Tibetans navigating the space between tradition and modernity, occupation and exile, the personal and the national. The setting may be the Himalayas, an Indian railway, or a New York City brothel, but the insights into an ancient culture and the lives and concerns of a modern people are real, and powerful.

For this anthology, editor and translator Tenzin Dickie has collected 21 short stories by 16 of the most respected and well known Tibetan writers working today, including Pema Bhum, Pema Tseden, Tsering Dondrup, Woeser, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Kyabchen Dedrol, and Jamyang Norbu.

Tenzin Dickie is a writer and literary translator living in New York. Her writings have been published in Indian Literature, Apogee Journal, Tibetan Review, Himal SouthAsian and Cultural Anthropology, and anthologized in The Yellow Nib: Modern English Poetry by Indians from The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and The Tibet Reader, forthcoming from Duke University Press. Her translations have been published in The Washington Post online and Modern Poetry in Translation. A 2014-2015 ALTA Fellow of the American Literary Translators’ Association, she holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Harvard University. She is an editor at treasuryoflives.org, a biographical encyclopedia of significant figures from Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan Region.