Author Archives: buddhistfictionblogger

Announcing New Buddhist Fiction: THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X. R. Pan

About six weeks ago I got a message from my colleague and friend, Daniel, alerting me to an interview in Tricycle Magazine with a young lady named Emily X.R. Pan. The interview focused on Pan’s debut novel, The Astonishing Color of After. Published in March 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the novel was an instant bestseller, and after reading it, I understand why. If you like Young Adult Literature, Pan’s new novel is a must read. It is marketed as magical realism, but it most definitely has Buddhist elements that drive the plot and infuse the characters.

The Astonishing Color of After is the beautiful, wistful yet heartwrenching story of Leigh, a teenaged girl grieving the loss of her beloved mother, Dory. The novel begins with these words: “My mother is a bird. This isn’t like some William Faulkner stream-of-consciousness metaphorical crap. My mother. Is literally. A bird.” The tone and voice articulated in these first few sentences instantly alert the reader to prepare themselves for time spent with an exceptional teenager. Leigh is the creative, insightful, quirky daughter of a Taiwanese mother and an American father. She describes her experiences in a synesthetic manner, assigning a color to a bicycle ride or a kiss. Her life filled with art classes, indie music and a teenaged crush was irrevocably changed by her mother’s suicide. The novel opens after Leigh has lost her mom, which immediately renders the story arc on a trajectory between grieving and healing. Shortly after the death, Leigh is visited by a large red bird who brings her gifts and a note. Leigh comes to believe that the bird is her mother and that the gifts are clues to family secrets that may explain why her mother suffered so much. Leigh and her father travel to Taiwan to visit with her maternal grandparents, and Leigh experiences her Taiwanese heritage, including its Buddhist and Taoist elements, while gaining some clarity about who her mother was, who her grandparents are, and – ultimately – who she is herself.

Pan’s debut novel is a liminal narrative. The storyline weaves between grieving and healing, between America and Asia, between then and now, between this life and the next. The discourse is liminal as well. Pan writes from her experience as an Asian-American, but her protagonist Leigh is bi-racial and feels isolated and out-of-place almost everywhere. She is ‘othered’ throughout the novel; a boy at her school refers to her as exotic, and the Taiwanese people she encounters call her “mixed blood” (hunxie).

The Buddhist aspects of the novel are liminal too. Leigh had been exposed to family altars and bodhisattva images but did not know about Taiwanese Buddhist death practices, such as the burning of joss paper crafts or the 49 days of liminality between the previous life and the next rebirth. This liminal period becomes a temporal framework for the story.

One of the strongest aspects of Pan’s novel is the way she tackles mental illness and contemporary discourse (and stigmatization) around mental illness. This aspect is made very poignant in Chapter 10, when Leigh thinks:

“I can’t stop myself from wondering about the physical pain of the experience. I try to imagine suffering so hard that death would be preferable. That’s how Dr O’Brien explained it. That Mom was suffering.

Suffering suffering suffering suffering suffering.

The word circles around in my head until the syllables lose their edges and the meaning warps. The word begins to sound like an herb, or a name, or maybe a semiprecious stone. I try to think of a color to match it, but all that comes to mind is the blackness of dried blood.

I can only hope that in becoming a bird my mother has shed her suffering.”  Chapter 10 Loc 516 of 5168, Kindle edition

As the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, suffering is the problem of the human condition, and also the description that a psychiatrist attached to Dory’s therapy-resistant depression. Pan does not shy away from writing about depression and suicide and how this disease affects individuals and families alike. She writes in her Author’s Note:

“I grew up witnessing firsthand the effects of depression, and watching how my family let the stigma surrounding it become one of the darkest, stickiest traps. That stigma is perpetuated by not talking.” Author’s Note, Loc 5093 of 5168, , Kindle edition

This stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide is an important contemporary issue that Pan tackles in her novel, and she is surprisingly vocal about her perceived greater intensity of this stigma for Asian families. In fact, in another debut novel interview on the website hellogiggles, Pan suggests that the cultural stigma surrounding mental illness is “5000 times worse in Asian families.” Her first YA fiction book should go some way to breaking down the stigma of silence surrounding mental illness and suicide, and Pan and her publishers make sure to provide real-life (not magical realism) resources for suicide prevention and for suicide loss survivors after her Author’s Note. In this way, Pan’s novel functions as a Buddhist act of compassion, as a gift of dana to her readers. 

This novel will stay with me for a long time, and I have already recommended it to adults and teens alike. I would even assign this novel in a university level syllabus, especially in a course on death and dying. Put this novel on your list of books to read sooner than later. Purchase the hardcover, ebook, or audiobook:
INDIEBOUND | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION

 

 

 

 

 

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Announcing More New Buddhist Fiction – Modern Monk Motifs

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the Rohingya tragedy that’s been recently highlighted in the news but ongoing for decades now in Myanmar and bordering areas. I am always surprised when acquaintances ask me about the situation, and they react in disbelief that Buddhist monks would commit and/or be complicit in such atrocities. These reactions reveal the power of the cultural imaginary; for various reasons, (which I don’t have space to discuss herein), many Westerners often stereotype Buddhist monks as pacifist, vegan, spiritually advanced meditating ascetics. The example of the hardline Buddhist monks in Myanmar problematizes imagined versions of Buddhist monks.

Perhaps no Buddhist narrative motif is more common throughout Buddhist literature – commentaries, folktales, hagiographies, miracle tales of all sorts, suttas/sutras, vinaya texts, etc. – than that of the eminent monk. The earliest examples of the motif of an eminent monk are stories of the historical Śākyamuni Buddha. Following this pattern, every school of Buddhism has chronicled stories of its own eminent monks, and according to Kieschnick (1997)*, the ideals contained in these narratives fall into the categories of asceticism, scholarship, and thaumaturgy or magical potency. This does not mean there is only one Buddhist monk narrative motif. For example, the warrior monk motif is based in Buddhist literature and is also popular in the West. It has been imagined in many films highlighting a connection between spiritual advancements and martial arts abilities such as karate and kung fu to grow far beyond its origins through other forms of media such as Japanese anime and manga. But only when we look beyond these two easy-to-find narrative motifs do we begin to discover other monk ‘characters.’ Schopen (2004)* describes “Ascetic monks, meditating monks, and learned monks” in the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya (MSV) as “slightly ridiculous characters in unedifying, sardonic, and funny stories or as nasty customers that “good” monks do not want to spend much time around.” He further relates that “The monks that the redactors of the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya envisioned, and the monks that modern scholarship has imagined, are then radically different, and this difference is extremely important for the historian of Buddhism in India.” This difference is also extremely important for the contemporary reader of Buddhist fiction, as it’s been some time since I’ve read a novel with a Buddhist monk character who fits into the narrative motif of the eminent monk.

The three works of Buddhist fiction announced in this post present their readers with Buddhist monks who are most decidedly non-eminent. The monk protagonists in these novels and short stories read more like a case study in crazy-wisdom or characterized examples of upaya (skilful means); they do not flinch at boundaries but jump over the boundaries with glee. These monks are imagined for the 21st century.

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Naked Monk: A Novel by Hugo Bernard, 2018

The novel is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format. It is free to read for Kindle Unlimited readers until June 2018.

Press Release:

 Naked Monk is a debut novel by Hugo Bernard, inspired by the story of Mara’s attempt to seduce Siddhartha moments before his awakening.  The story explores the struggles between sexual desires and spiritual awakening and is filled with unexpected twists that bring the wisdom from Pali Canon alive. Hugo explains why he thinks Buddhist Fiction is useful:

Many students of Buddhism focus on a rational understanding of the teaching. They intellectualize– to not say argue– what is the right and wrong interpretation of a given sutra. Fiction is a platform that releases us from these logical constraints and permits an exploration of how the Dharma can be used when living painfully difficult situations. In fiction as in life, characters may apply the Dharma correctly or not, either way, the reader may discover the rightful path for themselves through these simulated life experiences.”

Here is the description  from Amazon:

A wonderfully dangerous force lurks within us all, bringing misery, love, or total emancipation. 

A lonesome monk is summoned to help Milos, an accomplished fighter deeply troubled by mysterious sorrows. Together they travel to a remote forest and are joined by another monk, recently expelled from his monastery for inappropriate behaviours. Secluded in the forest, the three monks unwittingly release an ill-tempered god from an ancient curse. The god offers the monks a special gift: the perfect virtue of their choice. Although virtue should make a monk’s spiritual path easier, the god is determined to make them fail.

Can the monks find the wisdom needed to resist all the god’s temptations? Is such restraint humanly possible?

In this richly imaginative tale discover a giant golden Buddha with a compassionate kick, a meditation hall filled with monks bearing beetle heads, and ten thousand irresistible goddesses dancing in the forest. A story that wisely explores the struggles between sensual desires and spiritual awakening.

 ” … Told with the typical twists and turns of any good Buddhist tale, NAKED MONK also serves up many wayside delicacies of wisdom to savour during this most peculiar journey we call life. ” (Five Stars) – Readers’ Favorite Review 

“[…] This books gets deep and will hit you if you slow down, pay attention, and allow the lessons to wash over you. I know that people want “fast reads” these days, but I slowed down on this book. The payoff was immense. Five stars!” – Greg Soden, host of Classical Ideas Podcast. 

You can listen to Greg Soden discuss Bernard’s novel on The Classical Ideas Podcast, Episode 46, 21 March 2018 here: https://classicalideaspodcast.libsyn.com/ep-46-hugo-bernard-on-naked-monk-diligence-and-buddhist-practice  In the podcast Bernard reads from a chapter of Naked Monk: A Novel and discusses both his Buddhist and writing experiences. 

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The Dalai Camel by C.E. Rachlin, 2018

Press Release

Have you heard of the Dalai Lama? Well, let me introduce you to the Dalai Camel, a decidedly more irreverent character, quite likely to offend those of a sensitive nature right out of the gate. On a fantastic 500 year journey to enlightenment, the Dalai Camel follows his guru from the Buddhic Plane to the Sahara Desert, from Medieval France to pre-Columbian Brazil, all the way to modern-day New York and Los Angeles. Along the way, you will meet madcap characters including his adopted son Ugavinny; his long-lost brother Nicholas, who accidentally chiselled off the nose of the Great Sphinx; and the Holy One and People magazine enthusiast the Dalai Lama himself. Truly a bizarre tale of Bliss and Bewilderment, The Dalai Camel is a once in a lifetime read. Unless it is reincarnated.  But that would be a different lifetime.

“A screwball comedy mixed with spiritual insight.”  — Kirkus Reviews

C. E. RACHLIN was a pre-med student when he had the epiphany that he should change course and become a writer. He has lived and worked in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles, where he developed marketing strategies for a major Hollywood studio.

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Mad Monk Improper Parables: Zen and the Art of the Art World by Larry Littany Litt, 2017

From Amazon blurb:

You need Zen to navigate the global art world. Curators say, “Every artist should read this book.” Mad Monk Improper Parables offers sixty timeless wise, witty and intense tales whose Eastern wisdom can be enjoyed by every artist, anytime and anyplace. These enlightening tales of life, love and work are inspired by a renegade Korean Zen/Chan monk-artist who traveled on and as often off the strict Zen Way. This intriguing, timeless character is a non-conforming yet dedicated Buddhist, successful artist, caring lover, avowed hedonist and above all social moralist. He’s a respected community hero and conversely a renowned trickster fighting authority, deceit and injustice. These stories joyously dramatize Mad Monk’s Buddhist and community based philosophy. They offer practical self-help advice about social status, competition, ageing, career choices, romance, filial obligation, friendship, dedication to purpose, the meanings of charity and kindness. Above all discovering who you are and how you can develop that person. In this genre-bending book of Asian parables, Larry Littany Litt brings his Chan/ Zen wit, wisdom and storytelling art to the dilemmas and contradictions of modern art life.

Reviewers are calling Mad Monk Improper Parables: “inspiring”, “delightfully and intellectually entertaining”, “magical”, “riveting”, “wonderfully deep”, “thoughtful and sensitive”.

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*Kieschnick, John. The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography, Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997.

*Schopen, Gregory. Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004, p. 15.

Shambhala Publications Launches a New Imprint for Children

This fall, Shambhala Publications will launch a children’s imprint called Bala Kids. The aim of the imprint is to inspire “the next generation through the Buddhist values of compassion and wisdom. ”  Shambhala has put out a call for submissions for this children’s picture book series which will also award a book prize. Here is the link to the call and I have copied the information below: https://www.shambhala.com/call-for-submissions-bala-kids-the-khyentse-foundation-childrens-book-prize/

Just last November I presented a paper about Buddhist fiction and young adult literature (YAL) at Buddhism and Youth: A Symposium at the University of British Columbia for the 7th Annual Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Conference hosted by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society of UBC. In a session entitled “Literary Adventures,” my presentation lamented a lack of Buddhist fiction intersecting with YAL.  Other presentations, however, focused on Buddhist literature for children, which is apparently growing. Buddhist Anglophile literature is indeed growing in the West for readers of all ages.

Thank you to my friend James for alerting me to this great news.

Copy of the call for submissions . . . .

Call for Submissions: Bala Kids & The Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize

We are delighted to announce that Shambhala is launching a children’s imprint named Bala Kids in the Fall of 2018. Bala Kids will be devoted to inspiring the next generation through the Buddhist values of compassion and wisdom.

With a shared vision to inspire and educate generations to come, and to encourage the development of Buddhist resources for parents and children, Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids are teaming up to offer the Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize for the best Buddhist children’s book manuscript. Submissions of exceptional stories for children ages 0–8, both fiction and nonfiction, from all Buddhist traditions, are warmly welcomed, and new authors are especially encouraged to apply. The winning submission will receive a prize of $5,000 and will be offered a publishing contract from Bala Kids.

Guidelines

  • Content: Any complete manuscript in English for a picture book for children ages 0-8, expressing Buddhist values, themes, and traditions, is welcome. Submissions on secular mindfulness, meditation, or yoga will not be considered for this award.
  • Format: The book should be conceived as a full-color, full-size standard children’s picture book (not a board book). The exact trim size and page number will depend on the content and will be determined by the publisher, but generally the book should be conceived as ranging between 24 and 48 pages.
  • Illustrations: The prize is offered for the manuscript itself, which may or may not be submitted with illustrations, although submission of illustrations (with permissions cleared) is encouraged. Choosing the final illustrations for the book will be the responsibility of the publisher.
  • Consideration: All submissions will be reviewed by both Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids, and will be assessed based on their creativity, message, and significance. It is possible that Bala Kids will make publication offers to multiple submissions; however, the Children’s Book Prize will be awarded to only one recipient. If there are no submissions that meet the standards of Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids, the prize will be withheld until there is a new round of open submissions.
  • Contract: The winner of the prize will be offered a publishing contract by Bala Kids. All terms and conditions of the contract offer will be worked out between the author(s) and the publisher. Khyentse Foundation will not be directly involved in this process.

How To Submit

All manuscripts, along with accompanying illustrations, should be submitted with a cover letter that includes a short author biography, book summary, and the intended message of the book.

Please e-mail submissions to balakids@shambhala.com with the subject line: KF Book Prize Submission.

The winning author will be notified by May 15, 2018.

Closing date: February 15, 2018

Prize award: $5,000 and publication offer with Bala Kids

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From Fiction to Film – The First Rule of Ten

An acquaintance from my doctoral fieldwork days emailed me last week to let me know of an upcoming television mystery series based on works of Buddhist fiction. He had read the announcement on the buddhistdoor news page and thought I should know. He was right. Thanks go out to D. for the heads up!

If you’re like me and you feel the need to read the original novel of a movie or television series before watching the story brought to life on film, then you will want to read The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery series by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay. Ten, short for Tenzing, is the ex-monk protagonist of this mystery series published by Hay House in 2011. There are now five novels in the series, each based around a theme or “rule” that Ten espouses and/or learns as part of the novel. Ten’s first rule is “Don’t ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers.” This series is another example of the intersection of Buddhism and mystery I wrote about in July 2016 that creatively links Buddhist experience to the types of reasoning skills and intuition required to deal with enigmatic situations. You can find the Tenzing Norbu Mystery series on dharmadetective.com or the Hay House website or Amazon.

I have yet to find a date to mark on a calendar for the airing of the first episode, but viewers are excited that Daniel Dae Kim who owns 3AD production company –  the same company behind the popular television series The Good Doctor – is developing The First Rule of Ten. You can read more about it here: http://deadline.com/2018/01/daniel-dae-kim-developing-tv-adaptation-first-rule-of-ten-based-on-book-1202241106/

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that Hendricks’ and Lindsay’s novels are categorized as “spiritual fiction” by the publisher. What do you make of this?

 

Big Year for Buddhist Author George Saunders

As many of you may know, in October George Saunders’ first novel Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (New York, NY: Random House, 2017) won the Man Booker Prize for fiction. Saunders is generally considered one of America’s best short story writers. His 2014 story collection “Tenth of December” won the inaugural Folio Prize and his first novel, long anticipated, has spent months at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list.

Saunders is also a practising Buddhist, and his religious orientation is put to use right from the title of the novel – Lincoln in the Bardo – concerning the Tibetan term for a liminal state of being experienced between death and rebirth. This state is discussed in Theravada suttas (Pali, antarabhava) and Mahayana sutras (Chinese, zhongyou), but it is best known in the west as bardo due to Evans-Wentz’s early 20th-century translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Tibetan, bar do thos grol chen mo).

Use of the term bardo in Saunder’s novel refers to the experience of Willie Lincoln, beloved son of 19th century President Lincoln, who passed away from typhoid. The story is based on this real historical event. Saunders imagines Willie’s experience after death, his confusion about the event, and his clinging to his former life, in part due to the grief of his father who visits his corpse.

While Lincoln in the Bardo is based on many historical facts, it is not really a work of historical fiction so much as an historical imaging that produces a metanarrative which complicates and explores the western concept of time. Saunders does this through the narration of the story and also through intertextuality.

Willie’s story unfolds in two main streams: historically and dialogically. Historically, some chapters are clips and quotations of various contemporaneous sources of Lincoln, such as personal papers, books written by historians, newspaper articles, etc. Not all of these sources are real; Saunders adroitly combines authentic pieces of history with fictional creations to convey the flow of events to his reader.

The other form of narrative employed by Saunders is dialogue, pulled together from a whole chorus of spirits who are also in the bardo with Willie. Even the syntax that Saunders uses to portray Willie-in-dialogue denotes a liminal state and lacks important punctuation, notably periods that mark sentence endings.

Saunders’ depiction of an intermediate afterlife state is intertextual and combines aspects of the Tibetan bardo with aspects of Catholic purgatory and a healthy Protestant fear of hell. Many of the spirit characters in this bardo take on the “physical” characteristics of their clinging to life, reminiscent of beings depicted in the Buddhist Wheel of Life or in Dante’s Divine Comedy. So while the bardo in this novel is not the traditional Tibetan bardo that Buddhist Studies scholars would recognize, it can be read as reflective of the transmission of Buddhism to the west.

This is a novel I will have to read more than once in order to fully appreciate the Buddhist elements, but it is written in such an engaging way that I will happily read it again, and again. For now, I appreciate that Saunders’ work is highlighting Buddhism as it intersects with fiction.

Announcing New Buddhist Fiction – October 2017 Edition

With the autumnal equinox behind us, and the western world thinking about all things harvest and Hallowe’en, the introduction of two new works of spooky Buddhist fiction is apropos of the season.

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The Haunting of Cragg Hill House by Elyse Salpeter, 2017  Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform/Amazon Digital Services LLC.

Here’s what goodreads has to say about Elyse and the Kelsey Porter, Buddhist Thriller series:

“Elyse Salpeter is an author who loves mixing “the real with the fantastic” in her books. She likes nothing better than taking different scenarios and creating worlds where things just aren’t what they appear to be.

Her suspense thriller series, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB and THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU are [sic] about a brilliant and fearless young woman named Kelsey Porter, whose life is steeped in Buddhist spiritual mysteries and she is constantly discovering the world around her is not what she believed it to be.”

Elyse Salpeter’s most recent book is #4 in her Kelsey Porter, Buddhist Thriller series: THE HAUNTING OF CRAGG HILL HOUSE. She says: “I truly believe folks should read the books in order, as I take them through the series and reveal in book #1 startling things about the main character’s spiritual path. That said, I did write Book #4 as a standalone.”

Promotional Blurb for The Haunting of Cragg Hill House:

All she wanted was a weekend away…

“Kelsey and Desmond escape to a Gothic Victorian mountain resort for the weekend, but when they arrive, their idyllic plans begin to unravel fast. Kelsey feels a sinister, dark presence pervading the hotel, and with a snowstorm raging, they are stranded with an evil she cannot name. A fleeting figure screaming down the hallway, staff with missing body parts, and then Desmond disappears, leaving behind a trail of blood. Kelsey soon discovers she’s fighting a deep magic she hasn’t seen in eons and she must figure out what is happening at Cragg Hill House… before it is too late.”

Book #1 THE HUNT FOR XANADU
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1CEvEab
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Cp2awz

Book #2 THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1EvXExO
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1JSRNqT

Book #3 THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1SUskAv
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1nPF6TO

Book #4 THE HAUNTING OF CRAGG HILL HOUSE:
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2pb1HyT
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2pVJLGB

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Waking the Fake Snake: The Mystery of the Blue Robe Manuscripts by Mat Skybrook, 2017  Publisher: Vajra Books, Nepal.

Mat Skybrook is the pseudonym of an American author who, after many years of living in Asia and elsewhere, is now based on the West Coast of the USA. He has written what has been called “A remarkable debut novel on separation, delusive attachments and seeing through them.”

Blurb:

It is summer 1985 and the young American teacher Richard Tatem heads for the Himalayas, there discovering a rare manuscript of the secret Blue-Robes cult. Hoping to kick-start his career and regain the affection of Miki Tojinbara, an unforgettable Japanese junior colleague from Osaka who has recently ditched him, Tatem returns to India. His search goes dangerously awry when he finds himself hunted by ruthless later-day guardians of the supposedly dead Blue Robe cult. Meanwhile, Tatem and Miki try a second time to see whether Buddhist love is really a contradiction in terms.

Touching a fake snake for Tibetan Buddhists can symbolize overcoming false fears through insight. Filled with both lofty Buddhist philosophies and gritty Tibetan reality, this novel thus explores perceptively the limits of obsessive attachment and romantic love for Buddhists.

Reviews:

“Buddhism is not only a profound spiritual and philosophical tradition. As proven by Mat Skybrook’s wonderfully written Waking the Fake Snake, its world and ideas can also provide the setting for an enthralling narrative of adventurous discovery and revealing self-discovery.”—Florin Deleanu, PhD, Professor of Buddhist Studies, ICPBS/IIBS (Tokyo)

“A hopeful novel for the century that lies ahead, with plenty of inter-cultural romance, ample sex, and a stiff dose of danger–though less violence than expected. Even more than in great classic novels, it’s all about seeing under, around or through the delusions thus created, and Skybrook obviously knows his delusions.” –Dr. gDan Martin, author of Tibet.Logic blog

“Skybrook’s fascinating mystery is three books in one: an Asian adventure, a love story and an intellectual puzzle. It vividly evokes the place and people of the Tibetan exile scene in Dharamsala and Tibetan friends in India as we knew them decades ago.” –Prof. Ramon Prats, Barcelona

Like A. S. Byatt’s Possession did for English literary research, this compelling Himalayan mystery dramatizes Tibetan and Buddhist studies field-work, with nearly as many true historical wrinkles as The Da Vinci Code.

Kindle version:

https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Fake-Snake-Mystery-Manuscripts-ebook/dp/B01MZZM05X/

The novel is also available in book form from the website vajrabookshop.com:

http://www.vajrabookshop.com/categories/vajra-publications/products/waking-the-fake-snake-the-mystery-of-the-blue-robe-manuscripts

Buddhist Literary Festival – Toronto, ON, Canada 24 September 2017

I’m pleased to announce what I hope is the first of many Buddhist Literary Festivals to be held in conjunction with the Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 24 September, 2017.  This inaugural event is founded and coordinated by Professor Suwanda Sugunasiri, himself an author of Buddhist fiction, poetry, and academic works. If you’re in the area, stop by!