Folktales from Tibet

Sandra Benson

Exciting stories of mystery and adventure

Author Type: Folk Tales / Fairy Tales

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Contact: Brenda Eaton at (413) 582-7054 ext 201


“Tales of the Golden Corpse” is the first complete English version of the famous Tibetan folk tales told to a boy who has killed seven sorcerers in the defense of his Master. The boy must redeem himself by carrying a talking corpse full of wondrous tales on a long journey, without himself speaking a word.

These 25 tales of intrigue and magic provide the reader with a window through which to view ancient Tibetan culture. Within them you will encounter heroes and villains, fearsome witches, murderous demons and clever tricksters with a uniquely Tibetan humor. Songs, riddles, jokes, and sayings make the stories come alive as they unfold against the background of everyday Tibet - its farmers and nomads, kings and magical beings.

“Through these tales, the ethical principles of right living are passed on from generation to generation.” —Jetsun Pema, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s sister

“If you are at all interested in Tibetan culture or in folk stories, this suite of exotic tales, translated in its entirety for the first time, should please you.” —Shambhala Sun           

“These fast-paced tales, like yak-butter tea, will not satisfy every taste, but specialists and those who enjoy the macabre and exotic will relish them.”  —School Library Journal

“Children will be fascinated with tales of adventure, while adults may learn about Tibetan culture and spirituality not only from the tales themselves, but also from the helpful commentary and glossary of Tibetan terms.”                                                                                                           

     —World Pulse Magazine

Sandra Benson, originally from Minnesota, lived in the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, India for three years in the early 90’s. During this time she helped build the first English language school for recently arrived adult refugees, choreographed “Oliver Twist” on the Tibetan Dance Company and served as assistant editor of Tibet Journal for the Library of  Tibetan Works and Archives. In the late 90’s she promoted Tibetan educational programs for the Shang Shung Institute in Conway, MA, taught English to Tibetans at Qinghai University in Northeastern Tibet and choreographed a Tibetan Opera at the Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

She also helped build an English language school for recently arrived refugees, choreographed the musical “Oliver Twist,” and wrote “The Vanishing Wilderness of Tibet: Eyewitness Accounts of Tibet’s Environment from 1700-1992,” while living in the Tibetan refugee community.  Other publications include:English-Tibetan Folktale Reader and Elementary English in Tibetan, both published in Tibet for Tibetan English language students. She has been living in Santa Fe since 1999, and is a riding instructor at Arrowhead Ranch.