When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East : A Novel

by Quan Barry

Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Tags: Set in Vietnam Set in Mongolia Female author

When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East

From the acclaimed author of We Ride Upon Sticks comes a luminous novel that moves across a windswept Mongolia, as estranged twin brothers make a journey of duty, conflict, and renewed understanding. Tasked with finding the reincarnation of a great lama—a spiritual teacher who may have been born anywhere in the vast Mongolian landscape—the young monk Chuluun sets out with his identical twin, Mun, who has rejected the monastic life they once shared. Their relationship will be tested on this journey through their homeland as each possesses the ability to hear the other’s thoughts. Proving once again that she is a writer of immense range and imagination, Quan Barry carries us across a terrain as unforgiving as it is beautiful and culturally varied, from the western Altai mountains to the eerie starkness of the Gobi Desert to the ancient capital of Chinggis Khaan. As their country stretches before them, questions of faith—along with more earthly matters of love and brotherhood—haunt the twins. Are our lives our own, or do we belong to something larger? When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East is a stunningly far-flung examination of our individual struggle to retain our convictions and discover meaning in a fast-changing world, as well as a meditation on accepting what simply is.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Kathy
(1 year ago)
16 Jan, 2023
This is one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. The language is wonderful and the words all flow together in the most vivid way. The story is mystical and heartwarming. The amazing connection between the brothers and the personal, yet mutual spiritual doubts they have is both emotive and uplifting. I already want to read this again and annotate the novel, the language is so beautiful. I think this has been one of my favourite novels for a long while.
Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Kristina
(11 months ago)
20 Jun, 2023
I love this story for so many reasons. The language that the author used captivated me. I found myself writing down pieces of the story to use with students in a Creative Writing class. I felt a deeper connection to Buddhism after reading this book. I would love to purchase a copy so that I can read it a few more times. "Make of yourself a light that is unwavering."

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