Kunzang Choden

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Kunzang Choden
Choden after a book reading in Washington, DC.
Choden after a book reading in
Washington, DC.
Born1952 (age 66–67)
Bumthang District, Bhutan
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Notable worksThe Circle of Karma
Children2 daughters, 1 son

Kunzang Choden (born 1952)[1] is a Bhutanese writer. She is the first Bhutanese woman to write a novel in English.

Choden was born in Bumthang District. Her parents were feudal landlords. At the age of nine, her father sent her to school in India, where she learned English.[2] She has a BA Honours in Psychology from Indraprastha College in Delhi and a BA in Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has worked for the United Nations Development Program in Bhutan. She and her Swiss husband currently live in Thimphu.[3]

The Circle of Karma, published 2005, is her first novel. It takes place in the 1950s, the initial period of imperially regulated modernization in Bhutan. The main character, a Bhutanese woman and road-builder by occupation, is forced to deal both with the traditional, restrictive gender roles of pre-modern Bhutan and the new kinds of sexism developing as men gain economic freedom.[4]


  • Folktales of Bhutan (1994) ISBN 974-8495-96-5
  • Bhutanese Tales of the Yeti (1997) ISBN 1-879155-83-4
  • Dawa: The Story of a Stray Dog in Bhutan (2004) ISBN 99936-644-0-5
  • The Circle of Karma (2005) ISBN 81-86706-79-8
  • Chilli and Cheese- Food and Society in Bhutan (2008) ISBN 978-974-480-118-0
  • Tales in Colour and other stories (2009) ISBN 978-81-89884-62-8


  1. ^ Zubaan Books. Circle of Karma website Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Avijit Ghosh. "Coming full circle." The Telegraph (Kolkata). 3 April 2005.
  3. ^ Zubaan Books Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Mathai, Anna Sujatha (17 July 2005). "Rooted in the soil and earth". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 January 2019.