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September 26 , 2008

Snake Lake


In a circular valley beneath the looming peaks of the Himalaya lies Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s a city of shimmering prayer flags, sacred cows, lavish festivals, and violent political turbulence-and a world that journalist Jeff Greenwald has come to call home.
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Snake Lake unfolds during 1990’s dramatic “people power” uprising against Nepal’s long-entrenched monarchy. The story follows Greenwald as he wins the friendship of a high lama who reveals the pillars of Tibetan Buddhism; embarks on a passionate romance with a spunky but curiously unlucky news photographer; and discovers what democracy means to rural Nepali citizens-all while covering the revolution for a major American newspaper. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Greenwald’s brilliant but troubled younger brother descends into a deepening depression. The author is forced to choose between witnessing Nepal’s long-overdue revolution and reconnecting with an alienated brother in desperate need of help.

Snake Lake is primarily a memoir (though the roles of several characters have been recast). Focused on the life-changing events that unfolded during one calamitous spring, the book weaves a vivid tapestry of Buddhism, revolution, and the often serpentine paths to personal liberation.
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