FEELING DOWN ABOUT THE ELECTION?
HAVE WE GOT A NOVEL FOR YOU!
My new novel, AT THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE (see photo for the New York City launch at the Soho Playhouse last week) is about the way that differences can either divide or connect. Our nation is fractured among differences in race, culture, class, religion, sexual preference. When we adopted a one-month girl from China, quickly we were opened up to profound differences—race, culture, class, and, for me, gender. After a few months looking into our baby’s Asian-tuck eyes, when we went out and saw white babies, we thought: ”How weird their eyes look.” We had crossed a divide of perception—what was normal for us, then, was different from us, and yet it was who were now. It was a new “normal.” When we went with her to visit her 5th grade class on her “Draw Your Family” day, when we found “our” family, we saw two stick figures with white faces, and one with a dark brown face. Surprise! Big sense of division–and–this is the point: we embraced it! The terrible stresses in this country, mostly huge economic inequalities, don’t allow us to see differences as adding, rather than diminishing. We can tell you that if, with good will–and in our case the commitment to love our Chinese daughter–differences are addressed in dialogue, healing can take place. And guess what, it’s the only way healing takes place. So read AT THE HEART. It will open your heart to the amazing, thrilling, funny, and triumphant journey of the human spirit–three Americans finding the Chinese birth mom–from separate to whole, from strange to familiar, and even, perhaps, hatred to at least understanding.
And as Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist teacher, wrote:
“Love, and you understand; understand, and you love.”