Synopses & Reviews
The stories in You Are Not Here and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction
dramatize the spirit of Buddhism, often with wit, always with verve, and each in some distinctly vivid way. Only a few of these stories touch on the Dharma explicitly and this book takes you on an inward tour across the whole world-to the jungles of Indonesia, a fog-shrouded park in San Francisco, the sun-blistered African veldt, a Burmese monastery surrounded by gun-fire, and the church-like sanctuary of a Nebraska barn, just to name a few. Collectively these stories paint a living portrait of the face of Buddhism, and readers may discover that that face is a strangely familiar one-and that every journey only ever leads home.
Edited by Keith Kachtick--the author of Hungry Ghost: A Novel (A New York Times Notable Book),You Are Not Here and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction--offers more surprising and transcendent work from some of fiction's famous names, alongside that of names you've never heard before--but surely will again:
Lama Surya Das, Keith Kachtick, Robert Olen Butler, Kate Wheeler, Anne Donovan, Samantha Schoech, Mary Yukari Waters, Andrew Foster Altschul, Jess Row, Anh Chi Pham, Sean Murphy, Pico Iyer, Dan Zigmond, Michele Martin, Sean Hoade, Jeff Davis, Jake Lorfing, Geshe Michael Roach, Anne Carolyn Klein, Dean Sluyter, Mark Salzman, and Hal Hallstein.
"An elegant, entertaining collection. These stories not only reflect a Buddhist sensibility, but reading them is a meditation in itself."
"The greater part of the collection is simply a rich literary read where art and dharma seamlessly meet. [. . .] For a collection of stories with a unifying theme, there's a great diversity between these covers. The quality of the writing alone makes this second volume of 'Buddhist fiction' worth reading."
"Drawing on the ancient appeal of 'Tell me a story,' Keith Kachtick has brought together a volume of exquisite tales that breathe with the living spirit of the dharma. These are the sutras of our times, played out in the lives of people we might meet next door."
"A collection of sparkling gems that translate the experiences of everyday life into a poetry that will keep resonating within long after you put the book down. As far too few books do today, it vividly demonstrates that the essence of great literature is, and always will be, the process of self-discovery."
"Buddhist fiction? Why not? With You Are Not Here and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction, Wisdom Publications continues the groundbreaking work of defining a genre. The stories in this collection are surprising, sophisticated, various, and uplifting without naivete. A terrific and thought provoking read."
"Fiction schmiction, this book is for real. With its superb collection of entertaining, thoughtful and intelligent stories, this book is sure to impress whether you're a Buddhist, interested in Buddhism or don't know a zafu from a zendo."
The Buddhist tradition is rich in stories, especially those that help teach the sutras. You Are Not Here and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction
takes the sutra tradition into new and unexpected places. Classic Buddhist themes the reality and illusion, stillness and being, meditation and action the are the inspiration for these stories, but the appeal of these powerful, often quirky and provocative works spreads far beyond just students. Like its predecessor, this collection includes both new voices and established masters such as Pico Iyer, Anne Donovan, Robert Olen Butler, and Mark Salzman.
About the Author
Keith Kachtick is the author of Hungry Ghost (Harper Perennial, 2004). He lives in Austin, Texas. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop.Lama Surya Das is the bestselling author of several books including Awakening the Buddha Within. The founder and main teacher of the Dzogchen Foundation, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.