Blue Poppies

By Jonathan Falla

Format: Paperback

In 1950s' Tibet, Puton, a young crippled woman viewed as an omen of bad luck by villagers, meets a stranger - Jamie, a young Scot. Both are lonely and isolated, and as their attraction grows, Communist China invades Tibet. The villagers must flee to safety, led by Jamie and a Buddhist Monk.

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Neil Wilson Publishing

Neil Wilson Publishing is a small, independent company which prides itself on being innovative and original. Under five imprints they produce a wide range of books with a Scottish flavour.

Product Description


It is 1950. In a remote Tibetan village, on the border with China, Puton, a young woman, crippled and widowed in a terrifying attack, and now seen as an omen of bad luck by the villagers, meets a stranger - a young Scot, Jamie. He is in the village to set up a radio post. Both are lonely and isolated. Puton is scared of the locals and the Chinese; Jamie is homesick. As their attraction for each other grows, Communist China invades Tibet. The villagers must flee to safety, and led by Jamie, and his friend, Nima, a Buddhist monk and herbalist, the caravan tries to dodge the army, led by a vengeful Chinese commander. The villagers' epic journey, exhilarating and appalling by turns, is an adventure both dangerous and harrowing, with an ending few would expect in this vital rush against time. There are echoes of Chaucer, well crafted snapshots of Tibetan life, and detailed cameos of exhausted villagers torn between their need to survive and the love for their country and one another. But the true romantic vision in the book is that of an inquisitive stranger in a foreign land.

Written with a light and sensitive touch, Blue Poppies is a dramatic, fast-moving story that paints a vivid picture of Tibetan life in the late 1940s and early 1950. Although charged with emotion, it is a thoughtful and unsentimental portrayal of the country.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Neil Wilson Publishing
Publication Date 19 Apr 2002
ISBN 9781903238554
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

One of the main aspects of Blue Poppies is Falla's refusal to bow to Hollywood-sponsored cliches. Far from being the baby-eating Commies of popular imagination, the Chinese here are shown as tough but not unnecessarily cruel, preferring to win over the conquered with an open hand rather than a clenched fist - Falla is a fine and unflowery writer who delivers a punchy plot free of misty-eyed sentiment, yet [Blue Poppies] is crowned by one of the year's saddest endings. Sunday Herald Most authors appear to live on a very small planet; Jo Falla's world is a phenomenally big place. His vivid and authoritative fiction offers us the chance to experience - from the inside - life beyond Western frontiers, beyond Western preconceptions. In his company, we cease to be newspaper-skimmers or camera-toting tourists, and go straight to the heart of cultures that are exhilaratingly, sometimes frighteningly different from our own. Michel Faber, author of Under the Skin Jonathan Falla's debut novel confounds the stereotype of the first novel. It is assured, confident, without a trace of self-indulgence. It knows where it's going from the start, and that's nowhere near home - David Robinson, Scotsman A delightful debut novel - in what is at times a very dark and harrowing tale, Falla manages to enchant with his characters and to allow you to associate with their peculiarities. Jonathan Falla makes this a bewitching read which stirs up a multitude of emotions from love and longing to anger and disgust. You can't help but support this fine novel's characters in their long journey to freedom. The List This is a beautifully written story: sad, gently humorous and exciting and one can feel the affection of the author for the people and landscape - brilliant, I read it in one sitting and give it a five/five star rating! Sue Corbett, Wiltshire, newBOOKS.mag A dashed good thriller - beautifully written and good history too. Jack McLean, Herald This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The author's superb descriptive power drew me into the book so that it seemed as if I were actually present and could experience the sights, sounds and smells of the village and also the terrain and the bitter cold. Not only that; it's a brilliantly told tale, both tense and poignant, incorporating all the virtues of good old-fashioned story-telling (a lost art?). Mr M Simmons, Herts I cared very much about what happened Jamie and Puton. l found myself caught up in their lives and gentle love. A beautiful book, that left me satisfied yet wanting more. Reader Review,

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