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A graduate student in the mid 1970s leaves for India in the wake of a failing marriage and loses himself in order to get out of his own way.
Stanley Harrington arrives in India on a Fulbright to research Sanskrit philosophy on the eve of Indira Gandhi's state of emergency. There his interest in Buddhism deepens as reservations about academia increase. Meanwhile, he struggles with his feelings both for his estranged wife and for a beautiful British art historian with whom he becomes sexually entangled. When he finds himself witness to a violent accident, he begins to question his grip on reality.
Maya introduces us to an entertaining cast of hippies, expats, and Indians from all walks of life. From a hermit hiding in Himalayan jungle since the days of the British Raj, to an accountant at the Bank of India with a passion for Sanskrit poetry, to the last in a line of brahman scholars, Stanley's path ultimately leads him to a Tibetan yogi, who enlists the American's help in translating a mysterious ancient text.
Maya, literally "illusion," is an extended reflection on the unraveling of identity. Filled with rich observations and arresting reflections, it mines the porous border between memory and fantasy. A stunning debut novel.
About the Author: C. W. Huntington
C. W. Huntington translates and interprets classical Sanskrit and Tibetan texts and is a professor at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. He is the author The Emptiness of Emptiness and Maya: A Novel. He lives in Oneonta, New York.