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Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novelby Anne Cushman
Synopses & Reviews
Nearing age thirty, Amanda thought she’d be someone else by now. Instead, she’s just herself: an ex-nanny yogini-wannabe who cranks out “For Idiots” travel guides just to scrape by. Yes, she has her sexy photographer boyfriend, but he’s usually gone—shooting a dogsled race in Alaska or a vision quest in Peru—or just hooking up with other girls. However, she’s sure her new assignment, “Enlightenment for Idiots,” will change everything; now she’ll become the serene, centered woman she was meant to be. After some breakup sex, she’s off to India to find a new, more spiritual life.
What she finds, though, is an ashram run by investment bankers, a yoga master who trashes her knee, and a guru with a weakness for fashion models. She escapes a tantra party at the Taj Hotel, has a nasty argument outside the cave where the Buddha used to meditate, then agonizes through the ten-day silent retreat that’s supposed to make her feel better.
No, India is not what she had pictured. But she finds a friend in Devi Das, a redheaded sadhu who refers to himself as “we.” And when a holy lunatic on the street offers her an enigmatic blessing, Amanda realizes a new life may be in store for her—just not the one she was expecting.
Hoping to write the ultimate book on meditation, Amanda, an aspiring yoga instructor, is stuck earning a living as a hack writer of travel guides and is thrilled when her commitment-phobic photographer boyfriend offers her the opportunity to travel with him to the spiritual sites of India, but her trip and an unwelcome revelation force her to make tough choices about love, life, and spiritual practice. 30,000 first printing.
The comic but profound tale of an American yogini who travels to India in search of spiritual awakening--only to find herself grappling with all the chaos and contradictions of contemporary life and love.
About the Author
\ANNE CUSHMAN is a contributing editor to both Yoga Journal and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and is the coauthor of From Here to Nirvana, a seeker’s guide to spiritual India. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times; the San Francisco Chronicle; O, the Oprah Magazine; and Salon.com; and have been anthologized in Best Buddhist Writing 2004; A Woman’s Path: Women’s Best Spiritual Travel Writing; and other books. This is her first novel.
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