Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Wild, Wild Country & Gods of Mango: The Art of Following the "Right" Guru

After nine years of hard work, I've finally finished my American novel about faith and gurus called GODS OF MANGO. I thought it was done in 2013, but it needed two more rewrites. The English language version is shorter, leaner, and a little less farcical than the Danish, Det store glidefald that came out last fall.

Actually, it might be divine timing that I'm done now because Netflix just put out a new documentary about the Indian guru, Rajneesh (Osho), who partly inspired my novel. The six-episode documentary series is called WILD, WILD COUNTRY and describes what happened in Oregon when Rajneesh and his radical devotees built a spiritual commune in the middle of the desert. Let me just say it didn't end well unless you're a fan of arson, assassination attempts, and poisoning humanity.

I highly recommend watching the docuseries by Chapman and Maclaine Way. It gives a fairly balanced view of the Rajneesh movement's attempt to take over a sleepy town that will do anything to get rid of this so called sex cult. There are sociopaths on both sides, and everybody sees evil in the others instead of in themselves.

I just sent off GODS OF MANGO to my Ukrainian publisher Fabulabook (Ranok) that did such a great job with my best seller, The Tsar's Dwarf, and to one publisher in India and in the U.S. If any  of you have connections that might be interested, please be kind and let me know. I might end up going with an agent, but only with one who is interested in literature that takes spirituality seriously!

GODS OF MANGO is the story of Nick, a funny but obnoxious ex-CEO who travels to India to visit his new guru, but when he arrives at the Holy Abode outside Varanasi, he can't figure out if his Master is a fraud or a new Jesus. It doesn't help that the ashram is a strange place mirroring Nick's mind. Sometimes it seems like Paradise, other times like North Korea. 

I won't reveal more here, but GODS OF MANGO is hopefully a wise, funny, unpredictable, and uplifting work about spirituality, enlightenment, and faith. Back in the nineties, I was an ambiguous follower of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba, so spiritual devotees will recognize a little of Baba and Osho in my fictional guru, Sri Bhakti.

PS. The Danish version, Det store glidefald will be presented by the Danish Arts Foundation at the London Book Fair in April as a humorous, fictional Eat, Pray, Love from a male perspective. Wish me luck with my two books. I guess I'm Gemini after all?

Det store glidefald, 333 pages, Turbine forlaget, Denmark. Design by Peter Stoltze.