Friday, August 5, 2011

Interview with Annelie Rozeboom

What is Waiting for the Dalai Lama about? It contains life stories of Tibetan people on all side of the issue. This means that some of them are pro-China and others are pro-independence. It explains the problems surrounding the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The book ends with an interview with the Dalai Lama himslef.

It contains life stories of Tibetan people on all side of the issue. This means that some of them are pro-China and others are pro-independence. It explains the problems surrounding the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The book ends with an interview with the Dalai Lama himslef.

Where is your book available? It's available worldwide through Amazon, and in bookshops in Asia and the US.

Where did you get the idea for your book? I lived in Beijing for ten years and met some very interesting Tibetans there. One of them asked my journalist flatmate to write down his life story. This got me the idea of collecting different life stories.

How did you come up with the title? I don't remember. It sounded really good, and the Tibetans really are still waiting for the Dalai Lama to come back to Tibet, so I guess it fits.

Who designed the cover? Someone at the publisher.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? I traveled to Tibet and to India, so yes, it was very intense. I would stay for about a week and do at least 3 interviews a day. Ad they lasted a few hours each, this was very, very tiring, but also interesting.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? My first book was about China, and I has already published many articles about this country before I wrote the book. I was about 30, I guess.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? It's non-fiction, so you can't really make it into a movie, but it would be a great documentary, with the original people playing themselves.

Do you plan on writing sequels? I'm currently working on a proposal for a similar book about South Africa, which is another fascinating country.

How long did it take you to complete your book? All together, it took about a year. The original book was in Dutch, so I spent about another year translating it into English.

What is your favorite book? I have many, many favorite books. I love historical fiction, like Diana Gaboldon's Voyager series, about a woman who gets to go back in time 200 years. As a teacher, I also read many young adult books, and I know my students and I really enjoy Jody Picoult. Of course, nothing beats Harry Potter.

About Annelie Rozeboom:After obtaining a degree in journalism, Annelie Rozeboom went to China for twelve months, and ended up staying eleven years. As the China correspondent for several national publications, she reported on the uprisings on Tiananmen Square, China's subsequent growth into an economic superpower, and the issue of Tibet. She is the author of three Dutch books about China, Tibet and Madagascar, and recently published 'Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from All Sides of the Tibetan Debate.' She also regularly contributes to Radio Netherlands, both in Dutch and English.
She now lives with her husband and their three children in Antananarivo, Madagascar, where she runs the only English-language newspaper in the country and teaches journalism and English at the American School of Antananarivo.

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