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Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966


Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966 Cover

ISBN13: 9781573227964
ISBN10: 157322796x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Best known for his Buddhist teachings, Thich Nhat Hanh has lived in exile from his native Vietnam since 1966. These remarkable early journals reveal not only an exquisite portrait of the Zen master as a young man, but the emergence of a great poet and literary voice of Vietnam. From his years as a student and teaching assistant at Princeton and Columbia, to his efforts to negotiate peace and a better life for the Vietnamese, Fragrant Palm Leaves offers an elegant and profound glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world's most beloved spiritual teachers.


From a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of "Living Buddha, Living Christ"comes this collection of his remarkable journal entries, written from Americaand Vietnam in the 1960s.

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Shoshana, February 16, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
+ Personal/philosophical memoir from an historically significant period

- Somewhat confusing time sequence; no particular reason for start or end points

This early volume (published in Vietnamese in 1966 but not in the U.S. until 1998) chronicles several years of Thich Nhat Hanh's young adulthood in the U.S. and Viet Nam against the larger backdrop of the war. It provides a glimpse of the early years of Engaged Buddhism and provides some insights into the polarization of Vietnamese society and the suspicion under which anyone critical of the government functioned. Sadly, this will not be foreign to contemporary Americans concerned about the U.S. government's contemporary actions.

The structure is nominally in journal format, but since it focuses on just a few topics, and includes long essays about previous events, it is best read and understood as a memoir rather than a day-to-day account of experiences and impressions. This combination of present and retrospective accounts is confusing at times, but this does not detract much from the overall positive impression made by the volume. For me, the accounts of daily life, contrasts between the U.S. and Vietnam, and relationships are by far the most interesting aspects of the narrative; the philosophical and poetic segments are less engaging and sometimes abstract and disassociated from the heart of the book.

A sometimes-intimate portrait of Thich Nhat Hanh as a young monk that will increase the reader's appreciation for his courage, vision, and deep concern for justice and the dignity of all people.
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Product Details

Hanh, Thich Nhat
Hanh, Thich Nhat
Nhatthanh, Thich
Riverhead Books
New York :
Description and travel
United states
Priests, buddhist
Buddhism - General
United States Description and travel.
Nhat Hanh
Religion Eastern-Buddhism
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.99x5.12x.61 in. .51 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » Zen Buddhism
Religion » Eastern Religions » Japanese Philosophy
Religion » Western Religions » Inspirational

Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966 New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781573227964 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of "Living Buddha, Living Christ"comes this collection of his remarkable journal entries, written from Americaand Vietnam in the 1960s.
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