Luce Boulnois studied Chinese and Russian in Paris at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO). Working as a translator after graduation, she developed interest in the history of interrelations and material and cultural exchanges between East and West. Firstly, from the discovery through readings of Soviet and Chinese Central Asia, then, in Cold War time, through professional roles when the region was completely closed off from the outside world and inaccessible to non-Communist Europeans. In 1963, she published this work in her first Silk Road book, which has been translated into nine languages, including Chinese and Japanese. While working at National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) for nearly 30 years, in the field of Nepalese and Himalayan studies, Luce Boulnois continued to study trade relations and cultural exchanges. After retiring in 1992, she wrote this acclaimed book, first published by Olizane (Geneva, 2001) and continued her historical research on Central Asia and Tibet until passing away in the summer of 2009.