Seven Years In Tibet chronicles the author’s expedition to Tibet and how his plans were thwarted by unforeseen events.
Summary Of The Book
A travel book with autobiographical elements, Seven Years In Tibet is author Heinrich Harrer’s compilation of his experiences during his trip to Tibet between 1944 and 1951. What started as a mountain expedition to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, went awry for the mountaineer when he was captured and put in a British detention camp in Ahmednagar, a place close to Mumbai. He was later transferred to another camp in Dehradun. This happened because Austria had entered the Second World War around this time, and the British officials decided to declare the mountaineer and his colleagues as enemies of war.
Harrer and his colleagues managed to escape from the detention camp. While most of his fellow expeditioners choose to return home, Aufschnaiter, another hiker, decided to continue with Harrer towards Lhasa. The lengthy captivity did not douse their spirits and they finally scaled Nanga Parbat. People believed that they had not survived their journey as a long time had passed since their departure.
After reaching Tibet, Harrer blended into the society and became an official of the Tibetan Government. Later, he met the 14th Dalai Lama and became his close friend and tutor.
Seven Years In Tibet was translated into 53 languages. It was a US bestseller in 1954, with over 3 million copies being sold after first being published in 1952. The book has also been adapted into films. Hans Nieter made a documentary that contained video shots taken by Harrer during his Tibet trip. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud released a movie titled Seven Years In Tibet in 1997, which cast actors Brad Pitt and David Thewlis as Harrer and Aufschnaiter.
About Heinrich Harrer
Mountaineer, author, geographer and sportsman, Heinrich Harrer is best known for his travel books and his mountaineering expeditions.
The other books written by him include Ladakh: Gods And Mortals Behind The Himalayas, I Come From The Stone Age, Beyond Seven Years In Tibet: My Life Before, During, And After, Return to Tibet, Lost Lhasa and The White Spider: The Classic Account Of The Ascent Of The Eiger.
Harrer was born in Austria in 1912. He was part of the team that first ascended the treacherous, almost vertical North face of Eiger in Switzerland. He was also a Nazi party member and had been photographed with Hitler after his ascent of Eiger. In Tibet, he was employed by the government in the capacity of an official. He was passionate about mountaineering and had been to Alaska, the Mountains of the Moon, and Puncak Jaya. He wrote over 20 books, and was presented with many awards like Light of Truth Award and the Gold Medal of the city of Graz. He married Charlotte Wegener, the daughter of Alfred Wegener, an eminent explorer and scholar. He passed away in 2006, at the age of 93.
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