“Fran: The book focuses on the self-immolations taking place and the many who feel this is their only escape: Why did you choose to spotlight this and how would you relate these self-immolations as portrayed in the novel to what is happening now in Tibet?
Eliot: These immolation suicides represent a last, desperate attempt to protest the plight of Tibetans. They do reflect actual events—so far over 135 self -immolations have been recorded, most in the past four years. The descriptions of self-immolations in my book were painful to write, but the actual factual chronicles are even more disturbing. Yet they cannot be ignored.
These suicides are pleas to the conscience of the West. I encourage my readers to build on Soul of the Fire by learning for themselves the facts of the immolations and the criminalization campaign being used to persecute affected families in the chronicles published by the International Campaign for Tibet. ”
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