Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the edge of the World by Yang Erche Namu
The Tibetans refer to Moso country as The Country of Daughters because of their unique matrilineal society. In Moso culture, daughters are favoured children. There is no word for father, marriage is considered a backward practice and property is passed on from mother to daughter. This book is the haunting memoir of a girl growing up in a remarkable place. In her village, Namu was known as the girl whose mother tried to give her away three times because she would not stop crying. The strong-willed Namu clashed with her equally fierce mother, becoming alienated from village life. When Chinese officials came looking for talented singers, she seized her chance and broke the taboo that holds Moso culture together - she left her mother's house. Winning a place at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a special minority student, Namu became the Madonna of Tibet, singing on the soundtrack of The Joy Luck Club. A lyrical combination of anthropology and memoir, this is a story full of surprise, drama and beauty. It is a universal tale of mothers and daughters - the battles that drive them apart and the love that brings them back together.