A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants
A MemoirUnknown - 2008
Six years ago at the age of twenty-one, Jaed Muncharoen Coffin, a half-Thai American man, left New England's privileged Middlebury College to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in his mother's native village of Panomsarakram- thus fulfilling a familial obligation. While addressing the notions of displacement, ethnic identity, and cultural belonging, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants chronicles his time at the temple that rain season- receiving alms in the streets in saffron robes bathing in the canals learning to meditate in a mountaintop hut and falling in love with Lek, a beautiful Thai woman who comes to represent the life he can have if he stays. Part armchair travel, part coming-of-age story, this debut work transcends the memoir genre and ushers in a brave new voice in American nonfiction.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Da Capo ; London : Perseus Running [distributor], 2008.
Characteristics: 205 p. ; 21 cm.