The mind-altering odyssey of Allen Ginsberg
“A fabulous book – comic, tragic, and written with great verve and nerve -about the Beats and their ‘passage to India’”. – Michael Ondaatje
Pulitzer Prize nominee Deborah Baker takes us back to the moment when America’s edgiest writers looked to India for answers as India looked to the West. In 1961 Allen Ginsberg, ecstatic sensualist and the voice of a generation, left New York by boat for Bombay. Baker follows Ginsberg and his companions as they travel from the ashrams of the Himalayan foothills to the opium dens of Delhi and the burning pyres of Benares. They encounter an India of charlatans and saints, a country of spectacular beauty and spiritual promise and of devastating poverty and political unease.
The fifteen months he spent in India had a lasting influence on Ginsberg and on American counterculture. The trip not only changed his life, it helped spawn generations of hippies, hipsters, writers, artists, rock-stars and soul-searchers. This is the story of a search for God, for love, and for peace in the shadow of the atomic bomb. It is also a story of India – its gods and its poets, its politics and its place in expanding the possibilities of the western consciousness.
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The event will be held at SFU Woodward’s Studio D
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