The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Gyurme Dorje, translator; Graham Coleman and Thupten Jinpa, Editors.

New York: Viking, 2005

535 pp.; $29.95

review4THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD is the most celebrated and widely read work of Tibetan literature outside Tibet. The book was first published in English in 1927 by Walter Y. Evans-Wentz, compiled and edited from a selection of original translations of Tibetan texts by the Sikkimese teacher Kazi Dawa-Samdup. From its first appearance in America and Europe, this book has enjoyed a long and remarkable career in Western popular culture, due in large part to its perceived religious and psychological insights and practical benefits. The translated text has appealed to generations of spiritually inquisitive Westerners, comparative philosophers, psychoanalysts, neuroscientists, medical anthropologists, hospice caretakers, and psychedelic truth-seekers.

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