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A Blue Hand Allen Ginsberg And The Beats In India
Author: Deborah Baker

Publisher: Penguin India
ISBN: 978-0143416890
Pages: 256
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In 1961, the American poet Allen Ginsberg left New York by boat for Bombay. He brought with him his troubled lover, Peter Orlovsky, and a plan to meet up with poets Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger. He left behind not only fellow Beats Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs, but also the relentless notoriety that followed the publication of Howl, the epic work that branded him the voice of a generation. A Blue Hand deftly weaves a many-layered literary mystery out of Ginsberg’s odyssey, recounting the Beats’ quest for God, for truth, and for peace in the shadow of the atom bomb. Drawing from extensive research, undiscovered letters, journals and memoirs, acclaimed biographer Deborah Baker follows the poet and his companions as they travel from the ashrams of the Himalayan foothills to Delhi opium dens and the burning pyres of Benares. They encounter an India of charlatans and saints, a country of spectacular beauty and spiritual promise as well as devastating poverty and political unease. In their restless, tortured and often comic search for meaning, the Beats looked to India for answers while India looked to the West. A Blue Hand is as much a brilliant account of Ginsberg’s journey as it is a story of India in the 1960s—its gods and its poets, its politics and its place in the American imagination.
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