A Bliss Case

Michael Rockland, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-918273-55-0
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 (who, gay, is secretly in love with Kantor). 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. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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