Lost in Place
As a young teenager in suburban Connecticut, Mark Salzman (Iron and Silk, the Soloist) becomes obsessed with Kung Fu. He dreams of wandering the world as an enlightened martial arts master, even setting up a makeshift Buddhist altar in his family's basement and buying a mail-order "bald head wig" to make him look more like a zen monk. Mark begins to study Kung Fu with Sensei O'Keefe, a frequently drunk young white man with anger management issues. Alt... Lying Awake
This is a charming book about life in a Carmelite convent for an inspired nun. Sister John of the Cross, the main character in this novel, writes poetry and books for hours on end, and has heavenly visions of god - a feeling of divine ecstasy. However, when she finds out she has epilepsy, and these visions are not a closeness to her god, but rather a tumor above her right ear, her world crumbles. ... The Laughing Sutra
Hsun-Ching is orphaned as a small child and is raised by the monk Wei-Ching, who teaches Hsun-Ching to read and write. Wei-Ching is a scholar of Buddhist information and has devoted his life to the collection and preservation of ancient scrolls, but it is the era of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution, and many Buddhist relics are being destroyed. While visiting a temple, Wei-Ching and Hsun-Ching are attacked by a troupe of Red Guards, and Hsun-Ch... The Soloist
When he was young, Renne Sunheimer was going to be the "next big thing" in the world of classical music. His prowess on the cello was unrivaled. Somehow, something in him snapped and since then, he lost his musical ability. While being summoned to jury duty, he experiences several things that put things in perspective for him, enabling him to overcome his obstacles....
When author Mark Salzman is half-cajoled, half-tricked into leading a creative writing course at a Los Angeles' Central Juvenile Hall, a prison for the city's most violent teenage offenders, he is full of apprehensions. Initially, he feels little sympathy for gangsters and criminals, and is not sure what he, as a successful white man from Connecticut, can say to connect with a group of boys from the LA ghettos.
His class begins with a group of four b...