THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “ART. SEX, POLITICS,” BY WILLIAM EATON AND “LABOR,” BY LISA DeSIRO, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.
THE BOOK: Sid
PUBLISHED IN: 2015
THE AUTHOR: Anita N. Feng.
THE EDITOR: Andy Francis.
THE PUBLISHER: Wisdom Publications.
SUMMARY: Sid weaves the traditional tale of Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be with the story of Sid, an everyman who finds himself waking up amid the reality of work and family life in the modern world. Returning to the standard tale with careful consideration of the relationships in Buddha’s life—to his wife, parents, and child—Feng’s narrative embodies the Mahayana perspective of living one’s enlightenment in the world. Beautifully told in poetic prose, Sid teaches that the key to the story of the Buddha’s life is that the story could be about any of us. Includes beautiful black and white illustrations, created especially for this book.
THE BACK STORY: I think it grew organically, from a number of sources. As a Zen student and teacher I have always loved the Siddhartha story. I appreciated the fact that it was a story, based, no doubt, on a real human being. But still, a story. So why not bring it up to date? Just being alive in the world brought so many many Buddhas-to-be to my doorstep, I felt the time had come to write a Siddhartha story of my own. As a writer, I had been enjoying a collaborative exercise with artist, Linda Davidson, wherein we had been participating in a “conversation”. The rules that we decided upon for this dialog: Linda would send (via snail mail) an ink painting, and within two weeks I would send a poem as reply, then she would reply to that, and we continued this exchange for a couple of years, if I remember right. What evolved was a series of incidents/works of art/poems about a rabbit and a crow. These poems and drawings became the nucleus for my book, Sid.
WHY THIS TITLE?: Sid just seemed like a natural translation of the name, Siddhartha! And as a name, it also sums up a great deal about the book, all in a single word.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Did you read Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse? If you loved it half as much as I did, you might really appreciate Sid, which retells the story in a contemporary way, but also with a literary, poetic flavor. Also, for anyone tired of run-of-the-mill story structure, this will wake up your reader’s senses!
“Sid is a magical read, sweet, sad, beautiful. A haunting Zen imagining of the Buddha’s life and our own.”—James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break
“Maybe three times in my life I’ve wept at the sheer beauty of a book. This is one of those times. Sid is deep spiritual teaching clothed as a contemporary retelling of the story of the Buddha. There is heartbreak. There is humor. There is joy. There is aliveness and compassion. And there is love, great love. I bow to the ground in gratitude.”—Geri Larkin, author of Close to the Ground
“Feng tells us a story in luminous prose-poem paragraphs about an ordinary contemporary high school math teacher whose journey parallels the Buddha’s. Sid reminds me that I, too, ordinary as I am, have Buddha nature, and that my seeking is not in vain.”—Susan Moon, co-editor of The Hidden Lamp
“Anita Feng’s book is mythical in spirit and light in tone, making it accessible for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Sid’s experience of enlightenment is a relevant one for an increasingly egocentric society; he does not become a famous teacher, but rather an individual who exudes curiosity and compassion for the world around him.”—Publishers Weekly
“Anita Feng’s Sid is a sensitive and imaginative meditation on awakening. The contemporary story of Sid, interwoven with the story of Siddhartha, evokes a vibrant
stillness in the midst of suffering that meditators come to know so well.”—Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Abbot at ZCLA Buddha Essence Temple, Great Dragon Mountain
AUTHOR PROFILE: Anita Feng, of Issaquah, WA, maintains a three-cornered career: ceramics, writing and Zen, all of which are focused on the question: what does equanimity look like? Major writing honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, an Illinois Arts Council grant and the Pablo Neruda Prize. In addition to her new novel, Sid, she has published two award-winning books of poetry, Internal Strategies, and Sadie & Mendel. Anita is a graduate of Brown University’s MFA program in Creative Writing.
In addition to her work as a writer, she has worked as a ceramic artist for 40 years. The first thirty years were devoted to making functional musical instruments out of clay; the last ten, she has specialized in silence—in creating figures of unconventional equanimity. Examples of both her ceramic and literary work can be found at http://www.golden-wind.com. Anita’s writing and sculpture are informed by over forty years of practicing Zen meditation. When she is not working with words or clay, she serves as the guiding teacher and Zen Master at the Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, Washington.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/sid/selections
LOCAL OUTLETS: https://www.wisdompubs.org/book/sid.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org