Anthropology, Literature, Press Releases, Religion

Press Release: Narayan, My Family and Other Saints

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It’s the late 1960s. You’re nine years old, living in Bombay, and your family is a bit … complicated. Your mother was born in America, but she has fully adopted Indian dress, customs, and attitudes. Your Indian father, meanwhile, is cynical, worldly, and deeply suspicious of anything that smacks of mysticism or religion—which includes much of Indian culture. Then, out of the blue, your sixteen-year-old brother announces that he’s leaving home to go live with a guru and become holy. How on earth are you supposed to go about the business of growing up in such a complicated family?
With My Family and Other Saints, Kirin Narayan shows us how. Her funny, touching memoir tells the story of her brother’s quest and its effects, revealing a family full of love, yet always on the verge of disintegration. As their house becomes a waystation for the army of hippies, gurus, and charlatans flooding India, Narayan also brings late-60s Bombay to life, taking us back to a time and place when nearly everyone, it seemed, was embarked on some sort of spiritual quest and Western seekers were obsessed with all things Indian, from yoga to transcendental meditation. Deeply moving, yet frequently hilarious, My Family and Other Saints is a poignant reminder of both the power and the frailty of family bonds in turbulent times.
Read the press release. Also read an excerpt from the book.