reviews

  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Only Fiction Paid Member

    In Paradise: A NovelBy Peter MatthiessenRiverhead Books, 2014256 pp.; $27.95 cloth More »
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    Books in Brief Spring 2014 Paid Member

    In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint (W. W. Norton, April 2014, $24.95, 224 pp., cloth), by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. and Peggy McCracken, traces the Buddha’s story as it came to be rewritten by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian authors. As the tale was translated from Sanskrit (or another Indian language) into Middle Persian, then into Arabic, then by the Christians into Georgian and, not long after, into Greek, its most salient cross-cultural tropes—prophecy of a prince’s future, encounter with the world beyond the palace walls, and renunciation of worldly pleasures—were reinterpreted according to each author's religion and cultural concerns. The various iterations, therefore, offered very different lessons. More »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Mind Matters Paid Member

    One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern LifeBy Mitch HorowitzCrown Publishing, 2014352 pp.; $24 cloth More »
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    Romance Rehab Paid Member

    Sex Is Forbidden: A NovelBy Tim ParksArcade Publishing, 2013304 pp.; $24.95 cloth While sitting a traditional Vipassana retreat at an ancient hillside monastery in Italy, the British author Tim Parks found himself unable to silence the internal monologue of his mind. Inevitably, his self-mocking thoughts turned from sitting to writing: Of course I then imagined writing about this meaningless chatter and how brilliantly I could deconstruct myself, or someone like me (very like me), in a novel perhaps. I could very cleverly show how useless I was. Should I write a novel or should I make it nonfiction? Which would seem more necessary? More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Going Native Paid Member

    The Empty Chair: Two NovellasBy Bruce WagnerBlue Rider Press,December 2013304 pp.; $26.95 cloth More »
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    Books in Brief Winter 2013 Paid Member

    Iconoclasts often fare badly in their lifetimes, their genius acknowledged only later on. Such was the fate of Gendun Chopel, a scholar, artist, and activist who now, six decades after his death, is a cultural hero to Tibetans both at home and in exile. Born in 1903 and trained in the Nyingma and Gelug traditions, Gendun Chopel traded in his monk’s robes in the mid-1920s to travel extensively in southern Asia, the first Tibetan to set foot in what is now Sri Lanka. Steeping himself in other languages and cultures, he recorded his research, observations, and insights in a lavishly illustrated volume he considered to be his life’s work. It was intended to introduce the insular Tibetans to the ways of the modern world but instead was rejected. More »