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May 24, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies: A Virtual Evening with Tsering Yangzom Lama and Maaza Mengiste


May 24, 2022
7:00 pm

Books & Books, Miami Book Fair and Politics and Prose present… 

A Virtual Evening with

Tsering Yangzom Lama

in conversation with

Maaza Mengiste

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies

(Bloomsbury Publishing , $27)

Tuesay, May 24, 7 PM ET | On Crowdcast


About the Book:

For readers of Homegoing and The Leavers, a compelling and profound debut novel about a Tibetan family’s journey through exile.

In the wake of China’s invasion of Tibet throughout the 1950s, Lhamo and her younger sister, Tenkyi, arrive at a refugee camp in Nepal. They survived the dangerous journey across the Himalayas, but their parents did not. As Lhamo-haunted by the loss of her homeland and her mother, a village oracle-tries to rebuild a life amid a shattered community, hope arrives in the form of a young man named Samphel and his uncle, who brings with him the ancient statue of the Nameless Saint-a relic known to vanish and reappear in times of need.

Decades later, the sisters are separated, and Tenkyi is living with Lhamo’s daughter, Dolma, in Toronto. While Tenkyi works as a cleaner and struggles with traumatic memories, Dolma vies for a place as a scholar of Tibetan Studies. But when Dolma comes across the Nameless Saint in a collector’s vault, she must decide what she is willing to do for her community, even if it means risking her dreams.

Breathtaking in its scope and powerful in its intimacy, We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies is a gorgeously written meditation on colonization, displacement, and the lengths we’ll go to remain connected to our families and ancestral lands. Told through the lives of four people over fifty years, this novel provides a nuanced, moving portrait of the little-known world of Tibetan exiles.


About the Author:

Tsering Yangzom Lama earned an MFA from Columbia University, where she held multiple fellowships. She has received grants and residencies from the Canada Council for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Art Omi, Tin House, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, among many others. Tsering’s family fled Tibet in the early 1960s to Nepal, where she was born and raised. She has since lived in Vancouver, Toronto, and New York City.

About the Moderator:

Maaza Mengiste is a novelist, essayist, and photographer. She is the author of the novel, The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and was a 2020 LA Times Book Prize Fiction finalist. It was named best book of the year by the New York Times, NPR, Elle, Time, and more.  Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, and other publications. Her story, “Dust, Ash, Flight,” which appeared in Addis Ababa Noir, edited by Maaza, was awarded a 2021 Edgar Award for Best Short Story.