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There was the sound of heavy footsteps in the hallway. I glanced at the clock: 7.30pm. Mum came in, tossed her handbag on the dinner table and sunk into the sofa. She stared blankly at the evening news on the television, slowly rubbing her temples.

“Which book is it this time?” I asked

“The one on Tibetan Buddhism,” she mumbled, and suddenly raised her voice. “I thought everything was fine! Today I received a directive from the central bureau. It was killed. No explanation.”

We sat together in silence. There was more frustration than surprise in her voice. A long-time…

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