The Passion Book: A Tibetan Guide to Love and Sex

Gendun Chopel (Author) Donald S. Lopez Jr (Translator)
& 1 more

Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
April 18, 2018
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Gendun Chopel (1903-51) was born in northeast Tibet as British troops were preparing to invade his homeland. Identified at any early age as the incarnation of a famous lama, he became a Buddhist monk, excelling in the debating courtyards of the great monasteries of Tibet. At the age of thirty-one, he gave up his monk's vows and set off for India, where he would wander, often alone and impoverished, for over a decade. Returning to Tibet, he was arrested by the government of the young Dalai Lama on trumped-up charges of treason, emerging from prison three years later a broken man. He died in 1951 as troops of the People's Liberation Army marched into Lhasa.
Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan.


"Explicit, unabashed, detailed, and encyclopedic. . . some things in this book may offend you, others may charm you or secretly stimulate you, yet others may seem irrelevant and wrong, or deeply true and sincere. . . .Donald Lopez and Thupten Jinpa's glorious translation is accompanied by a detailed biography and an extensive commentary that, rather than burdening the text and clouding Gendun Chopel's essential message, make it even more scintillating and alive. . . a joyful book."-- "Tricycle"
"An enchanting new translation . . . will delight contemporary readers. . . . Lopez and Jinpa have recreated the poetic form of the Tibetan 'song, ' or stanza, which is based on cadence rather than rhyme. These direct, sometime curt claims meander, from nearly crass to sublime, from salacious to tender. . . . Chopel's writing couldn't be more timely--or timeless for that matter. He confronted the patriarchy, challenging those who dehumanized women or thought the poor deserved less. . . . I cannot think of a better reason to read."-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"
"Brief but sensual . . . a joyful--and explicit--guide to sex. . . . Gendun Chopel's insight runs deeper than just poetry. . . . He views sexual pleasure as a human right and stresses the importance of female consent and equality."--Ian Kerner "CNN"
"This masterful translation of Gendun Chopel's innovative verses on passion does justice to the Tibetan original by honoring the style of its metered verse and clearly conveying Gendun Chopel's words in a way that is in turn beautiful, erotic, and profound. Lopez and Jinpa have done what is so extremely difficult to do: they have translated not only the meaning of the words, but also the sentiments behind them, keeping this work poetic in both the literal and figurative senses."--Ian Kerner "Sarah Jacoby, Northwestern University"

"This excellent translation. . .admirably conveys the joy and beauty of the poetry as well as the underlying seriousness of Gendun Chopel's work. . . . It is good to have this wonderful rendition of a modern Tibetan erotic classic in English; it broadens readers' outlooks on the subject, and takes them beyond the concept, say, of what many people know about "Tantric sex" or the Kama Sutra. It's to be hoped that this accessible version of Gendun Chopel's book piques the curiosity of readers to look further into the life and work of this fascinating man."

--Ian Kerner "Asian Review of Books"