A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants: A Memoir by Jaed Coffin

A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants: A Memoir

byJaed Coffin

Paperback | January 8, 2008

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Six years ago at the age of twenty-one, Jaed Muncharoen Coffin, a half-Thai American man, left New England's privileged Middlebury College to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in his mother's native village of Panomsarakram--thus fulfilling a familial obligation. While addressing the notions of displacement, ethnic identity, and cultural belonging, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants chronicles his time at the temple that rain season--receiving alms in the streets in saffron robes; bathing in the canals; learning to meditate in a mountaintop hut; and falling in love with Lek, a beautiful Thai woman who comes to represent the life he can have if he stays. Part armchair travel, part coming-of-age story, this debut work transcends the memoir genre and ushers in a brave new voice in American nonfiction.

About The Author

Jaed Coffin holds a B.A. in philosophy from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Writing Program. A boxer, sea-kayaker, and lobster fisherman, he lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Details & Specs

Title:A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:January 8, 2008Publisher:Da Capo PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306815265

ISBN - 13:9780306815263

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Tricycle
“It’s worth reading this book twice. Once for the story—absorbing and, at times, amusing—and once more for the poetry: crystalline observations of people and place that float alongside the narrative. What could have been a simple coming-of-age tale is, in Coffin’s hands, a wry, at times lyrical commentary on cultural identity and Buddhist practice.”