Author Biography

Dhondup Gyal (don rgrub rgyal) was born in 1953 in Chentsa (gcan tsha), Amdo and is widely regarded as the founder of modern Tibetan literature. A prolific essayist, historian, Sanskrit translator and poet, he was widely acknowledged as the first Tibetan writer to break away from traditional rules of versification and meter and develop what he termed free form composition (rang mod rnyan tsom). Critics and readers alike lauded the free form composition style. In 1998 the Nationalities Publishing House in Beijing published his collected works, consisting of seven volumes and over a thousand pages. Today, free form composition is commonly acknowledged as ‘modern literature,’ and Dhondup Gyal’s essays and poems are set texts in elementary and middle schools.

Riga Shakya is a student in East Asian Studies department of the University of Toronto. From 2012-2014 he studied at Tibet University in Lhasa. He enjoys translating contemporary Tibetan short stories, poems and essays. However his main research interests lie in the autobiography of the 18th century Tibetan minster Dokhar Tsering Wangyal (mdo mkhar ba tshe ring dbang rgyal), which he is currently translating.

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