A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants: A Memoir

Jaed Coffin, Author Da Capo $16 (205p) ISBN 978-0-306-81526-3

In this affecting memoir, Coffin relates tales from his childhood and the complications that arise from being the offspring of an interracial couple in the late 1970s. Coffin’s father was a U.S. soldier who met his mother in Taiwan during the Vietnam War. Not long after they venture to America to start a new life, Coffin’s parents separated and he and his younger sister, Tahnthawan, moved to Maine with their mother. Coffin was taken back to his mother’s Taiwanese village several times during his childhood, and, on one occasion, encountered an elderly Buddhist priest who claimed the boy should come and live as a monk. Years later as a university student, he returned to the village to become a monk in the hopes of finding himself and his true identity. He meditated and learned prayers and chants, but often found himself alone in his room, sleeping on the floor next to his Buddha statue until he begins to question whether he is meant for the life of a monk. In heartfelt prose, Coffin beautifully captures his journey, both geographical and internal. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/10/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-306-81731-1
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