RCNY International Breakfast at the UN - January 18, 2024

Book talk with journalist and author Amy Yee: "Far From the Rooftop of the World: Travels among Tibetan Refugees on Four Continents" with a Foreword by the Dalai Lama (UNC Press).

In 2008, China’s government cracked down on protests in Tibet. Amy Yee, then a journalist for the Financial Times, found herself covering a press conference with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, his exile home in India. She never imagined a hug from the spiritual leader would be the start of a global, fourteen-year journey to spotlight the stories of Tibetans in exile.

This “beautifully observed” (Peter Hessler, New Yorker writer and MacArthur Fellow) nonfiction narrative and travelogue is set in India – as well as Australia, Belgium and New York, places where Tibetans she met emigrated to. 

While there are many books written about the Dalai Lama and Tibet, few focus on how ordinary Tibetans abroad are living and sustaining their identity and culture in exile. The book's narrative also includes encounters with educators, community leaders, monks and nuns, and advocates, including Chinese pro-democracy activists, over the course of a decade.
The book also gives new insight into relationships between Tibetan and Chinese people, especially since Amy is herself Chinese American.
The Economist magazine called the book called the book “engaging” with “captivating” personal histories.

Amy Yee is an award-winning journalist, most recently with Bloomberg/CityLab and previously a Financial Times correspondent in India where she lived for seven years. She has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, NPR and 30+ media outlets. She has reported from 20+ countries, including ten in Africa.

For her journalism, she has won three awards from the United Nations Correspondents Association for reporting about climate change solutions and reducing deaths of children in India and Bangladesh. 

She has also won four awards from the South Asian Journalists Association; and first place from the Association of Healthcare Journalists for public health reporting. In 2023 she won the Asian American Journalists Association’s award for reporting about protecting rights of immigrant voters, and a Society of Professional Journalists award for racial equity reporting.

Amy has had four Notable Essays in the Best American Essays. She is a MacDowell fellow and a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia Journalism School, Wellesley and Hunter's MFA program.