The Long Path to Wisdom: Tales from Burma (Paperback)
From the author of the internationally bestselling The Art of Hearing Heartbeats comes this charming collection of folktales that offer a window into Burma’s fascinating history and culture.
Since 1995 Jan-Philipp Sendker has visited Myanmar (Burma) dozens of times, and while doing research for his novels The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and A Well-Tempered Heart, he encountered numerous folktales and fables. These moving stories speak to the rich mythology of the diverse peoples of Burma, the spirituality of humankind, and the profound social impact of Buddhist thought. Some are so strange he couldn’t classify them or identify a familiar moral, while others reminded him of the fairy tales of his childhood, except that here monkeys, tigers, elephants, and crocodiles inhabited the fantastic lands instead of hedgehogs, donkeys, or geese. Their morals resemble those of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, illustrating how all cultures draw on a universal wisdom to create their myths.
The Long Path to Wisdom’s evocative stories run the gamut of human emotions, from the familiar to the shocking, and are sure to delight fans of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats as well as those newly discovering the magic of Sendker’s incandescent writing.
About the Author
Jan-Philipp Sendker is an internationally bestselling author born in Hamburg in 1960. He was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Wall, a nonfiction book about China. His first novel, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (Other Press), was published in 2012, and the sequel, A Well-Tempered Heart (Other Press), appeared in 2014. His third novel in the trilogy is set to be published in 2019. He lives in Berlin with his family.
“Enchanting…Young and old alike will enjoy traveling through the forests, farms, kingdoms and villages of Burma. The rich landscape is as captivating as the mystical nats (or spirits) that inhabit the pages of this book. Simple writing with complex meaning and rich culture, The Long Path to Wisdom is a great addition to any fairytale collection.” —Shelf Awareness
“Delicately balanced between cultural ethnography and poetic vision, Sendker’s collection of folk tales, legends and parables takes us on a journey to a lost paradise of the imagination and to a world of real lives whose substance and existence is but a twilight glimmer of all that it was.” —Bookanista
Praise for The Art of Hearing Heartbeats:
“A lush tale of romance and family set in mid-twentieth-century Burma…beautiful…bound to enchant readers.” —Booklist
“Magical…It’s stories like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats that show how our very existence is important…What a gift that is.” —Huffington Post
“Brilliant…Sendker’s novel proves to be a love story of the most masterful variety…Coupled with an unusual glimpse into the Burma of the 1950s and today, readers will delight in the emotional power of Sendker’s storytelling.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers
“A love story set in Burma…imbued with Eastern spirituality and fairy-tale romanticism.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Sweetly tragic.” —Library Journal
“No matter what I even attempt to say, I can’t possibly capture the absolute magic of this book. Like a spell, it haunts. Like love, it’s going to endure.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You