It’s been a busy, busy holiday season and I thought before the year ends I should write a post about three new works of Buddhist fiction that have been published recently. I extend my deepest appreciation to all those Buddhist Fiction Blog readers who brought these books to my attention. In chronological order, the novels are:
1. The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. Hay House Visions, October 1, 2012. http://www.hayhouse.com/ This link leads to Hay House publishing. Search for The Dalai Lama’s Cat once you are there.
This is my winter holiday read! I am half way through this light-hearted novel that is, as the title makes clear, about the Dalai Lama’s cat. She is a Himalayan, as one would expect, and she has many names to match her multi-faceted personality. The book is written from the cat’s perspective and is a thin veil for some rudimentary lessons from Tibetan Buddhism. The most interesting aspect of the novel, to me, is the extended characterization of the Dalai Lama. How did Michie research and write the fictional Dalai Lama in this book?
David Michie is the bestselling author of Buddhism for Busy People, Hurry Up and Meditate and Enlightenment to Go. He has also written four thrillers, most recently including The Magician of Lhasa, which, as the publisher’s web site remarks, “brings the profoundly life-enhancing perspectives of Tibetan Buddhism to a wider audience of fiction readers.”
2. Lunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo. AJAR Contemporaries, November 13, 2012. http://www.lunchwithbuddha.com/
The web site provides the following on Merullo’s sequel: “Lunch With Buddha has the same main characters as Breakfast with Buddha (Rinpoche, Otto, Cecelia, Otto’s family) and is, like its predecessor, a road trip book. This time, though, the trip is from Seattle, Washington to Dickenson, North Dakota, a route that takes the travelers through Washington State, across the Idaho Panhandle, across the breadth of Montana, and into parts of North Dakota not visited in Breakfast.” Merullo’s Breakfast with Buddha was so popular that I can foresee nothing but success for this novel.
3. Mandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison. Minotaur Books, First Edition November 27, 2012. http://www.eliotpattison.com/
This is Pattison’s seventh novel in a series featuring the compassionate, intrepid Shan Tao Yun, an ex-Inspector from Beijing who shares the plight of imprisoned Tibetan Buddhists of post-revolutionary China when he is thrown into a prison camp in Tibet for unnamed crimes against the regime. Pattison writes with a power of insight and depth of compassion that are heart wrenching. A wonderful review of the novel and an insightful interview with the author, Eliot Pattison, can be found here on Sumeru. Many thanks go out to Karma Yönten Gyatso for this review and interview.