Monday, September 22, 2008

Enlightenment for Idiots by Anne Cushman

Title: Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel
Author: Anne Cushman
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Publication Date: April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Age Group: Adult

Amanda thought that by 30 she would have life figured out or at least be on track toward something. Instead, she has bounced from one odd job to another until she begins to regularly write "For Idiots" travel guides. When she receives the assignment to write "Enlightenment for Idiots," which includes being sent to India to study with various meditation and yoga masters, Amanda is thrilled and hopes to find the answers she has been searching for.

India does not turn out to be all that Amanda expected and she continues bouncing from guru to guru in search of the elusive enlightenment. During her journey, she makes some odd friends while also facing her own history.

While most of us are unable to take months off to head to India in search of enlightenment, I believe that many people can identify with Amanda's search. We are often looking toward someone or something else to provide us the answers that will make us happy or enlightened. A set of specific directions, a guidebook, or a road map to life. Despite Amanda's struggles, this book is a light and humorous read that also makes one think about their own life.

Author Anne Cushman is a contributing editor to Yoga Journal and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. She has also published several essays and co-authored From Here to Nirvana. Enlightenment for Idiots is her first novel.
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