A novel by Michael Aaron Rockland
September 1, 1989 • 5.4 x 8.5 • 176 pages • 978-0-918273-55-0
English professor turns New Age guru.
“Middle-aged Sidney Kantor, a tenured professor of English in New Jersey, abandons his family, friends and career to enter a flourishing religious cult in India. However, Kantor (aka Anudaba) remains offstage: his escapades are relayed by the testimonies of his long-suffering Jewish mother (‘A mother doesn’t raise a child to see him prostrated on the floor in front of King Tut’), his ex-wife (‘He loved flowers and he loved people and he loved God. He just didn’t love me’), his daughter (who joins him at his ashram) and an envious former colleague. Although interpretations of Kantor’s behavior vary widely, each offers apparently valid insights and expands Rockland’s premise that an individual’s deepest desires and motives are mysteries to himself and to others. This first novel is distinguished by its unblinking scrutiny of both the suburban culture that Kantor rejects and the cult that claims him, as Rockland shuns easy stereotyping in favor of keenly witty and original satire.” —Publishers Weekly
New York Times 1989 Notable Book
“Absolutely gorgeous stuff. This book’s inherent pull virtually yanked me from page to page. Its unorthodox narrative power got me so hooked, I put aside my own work and finished it in a day.” —Fletcher Knebel, author of Seven Days in May
“Michael Rockland has written a terrific book . . . . [His] technique throughout made me love each of his narrators’ voices, with all their prejudices—distant, credible, touching.” —Tom De Haven, author of Sunburn Lake
“I think this novel is terrific! A funny book with a lot of guts and tears as well as the laughs. I’m wild about it.” —Richard Marschall, author of The Cousins