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A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants

Regular Price $15.99

Regular Price $21.99 CAD

Regular Price $15.99

Regular Price $21.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 8, 2008. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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On Sale

Jan 8, 2008

Page Count

224 Pages

ISBN-13

9780306815263

Description

Six years ago at the age of twenty-one, Jaed Muncharoen Coffin, a half-Thai American man, left New England’s privileged Middlebury College to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s native village of Panomsarakram–thus fulfilling a familial obligation. While addressing the notions of displacement, ethnic identity, and cultural belonging, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants chronicles his time at the temple that rain season–receiving alms in the streets in saffron robes; bathing in the canals; learning to meditate in a mountaintop hut; and falling in love with Lek, a beautiful Thai woman who comes to represent the life he can have if he stays. Part armchair travel, part coming-of-age story, this debut work transcends the memoir genre and ushers in a brave new voice in American nonfiction.

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Praise

Tricycle
“It’s worth reading this book twice. Once for the story—absorbing and, at times, amusing—and once more for the poetry: crystalline observations of people and place that float alongside the narrative. What could have been a simple coming-of-age tale is, in Coffin’s hands, a wry, at times lyrical commentary on cultural identity and Buddhist practice.”
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