My Guru and His Disciple

My Guru and His Disciple

Paperback Vintage Classics

By (author) Christopher Isherwood

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  • Publisher: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 197mm x 20mm | 230g
  • Publication date: 23 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099561239
  • ISBN 13: 9780099561231
  • Sales rank: 244,490

Product description

This title features with an introduction by Simon Callow. In 1939, as Europe approaches war, Isherwood, an instinctive pacifist, travels west to California, seeking a new set of beliefs to replace the failed Leftism of the thirties. There he meets Swami Prabhavananda, a Hindu monk, who will become his spiritual guide for the next thirty-seven years. Late-night drinking sessions, free love, and the glamour of writing for the Hollywood studios alternate with meditation, abstinence and the study of religious texts in a compelling tug of war between worldliness and holiness.

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Author information

Christopher Isherwood was born in 1904. He began to write at university and later moved to Berlin, where he gave English lessons to support himself. He witnessed first hand the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany and some of his best works, such as Mr. Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin, draw on these experiences. He created the character of Sally Bowles, later made famous as the heroine of the musical Cabaret. Isherwood travelled with W.H Auden to China in the late 1930s before going with him to America in 1939. He died on 4 January 1986. His novel A Single Man was recently made into an award-winning film by Tom Ford, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

Review quote

"Isherwood has reinvented the spirit of devotion for the modern reader. If I had to propose a candidate for canonization, Isherwood - wry, self-conscious, scrupulously honest - would get my vote" -- Edmund White New York Times "A masterpiece of spiritual memoir" Los Angeles Times "What emerges is a record of a religious adventure that would have delighted Kierkegaard... Isherwood rejects conventional piety - all the humdrum apparatus of worship - in favor of a direct, even jaunty appreciation of how preposterous, certainly precarious, spirituality can be today." New York Times "The sacred and the profane collide like never before" -- Giles Foden Conde Nast Traveller

Editorial reviews

The sacred and the profane collide like never before

Back cover copy

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY SIMON CALLOW In 1939, as Europe readies itself for the war crisis, Isherwood is living uneasily in New York. Struggling with pacifism and unshakeable feelings of dissatisfaction he travels to Hollywood searching for ideological support. Instead he meets Swami Phabhavananda, a Hindu monk, who will become his spiritual guide for the next thirty years. Late-night drinking sessions, free love and the glamour of intellectual life in Hollywood alternate with meditation, abstinence and religious discipline, in a compelling tug of war between worldiness and holiness. 'What emerges is a record of a religious adventure that would have delighted Kierkegaard,' Edmund White, New York Times See also: The Condor and Cows