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book cover of Red Poppies

Red Poppies

(2002)
An Epic Saga of Old Tibet
A novel by

 
 
Tibet, a tiny nation cloaked in mystery and clouded by myth, is the setting for this riveting family saga. Its author reveals that the land of his forebears is hardly the pacifistic little enclave solely inhabited by devout Buddhists that many Westerners have imagined. It is, rather, a far more complex and therefore intriguing land, where tradition collides with progress and individuals exhibit a range of universal character traits from virtuous to venal.

Alai introduces the powerful Maiqi family--its imperious patriarch, his Han Chinese wife, his first son and heir, and his second, so-called idiot son, the tale's narrator and unlikely hero. Set largely in the 1930s, before the Chinese occupies Tibet, this prize-winning novel pits the Maiqis against a neighboring chieftain. When an emissary of the Chinese Nationalists offers aid in the form of modern warfare, the head of the Maiqi clan strikes a Faustian bargain: in return for this assistance, he agrees to plant red poppies, the source of heroin, instead of grain on the arid plains surrounding his stone fortress. As these vivid blossoms flourish, so do the enmity and risks faced by a privileged and seemingly invincible family.

Epic in its sweep and high drama, Alai's novel suggests the work of Colombia's Gabriel Garcia Marquez and William Faulkner's revelatory fiction about the American South. Censored for several years because its sensitive political content, Red Poppies was finally published in 1998 by a prestigious Chinese firm, and two years later won that nation's top literary prize.

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Used availability for Alai's Red Poppies

Hardback Editions

May 2003 : USA Hardback

Title: Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 1-4177-1725-4 / 978-1-4177-1725-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon UK   


April 2002 : UK Hardback
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 0-413-77182-2 / 978-0-413-77182-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2002 : USA Hardback
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 0-618-11964-7 / 978-0-618-11964-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

August 2003 : UK Paperback
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Title: Red Poppies: An Epic Saga of Old Tibet
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 0-413-77183-0 / 978-0-413-77183-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2003 : USA Paperback
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Title: Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 0-618-34069-6 / 978-0-618-34069-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


2002 : UK Paperback
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Title: Red Poppies : An Epic Saga of Old Tibet
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 0-14-302849-9 / 978-0-14-302849-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Group Australia
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

July 2002 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


July 2002 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2002 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 1-56511-527-9 / 978-1-56511-527-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Highbridge Co
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2001 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Red Poppies
Author(s): Alai
ISBN: 1-56511-528-7 / 978-1-56511-528-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Highbridge Company
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA