Coupon
Tibetan Peach Pie : A True Account of an Imaginative Life
by Tom Robbins


Overview -

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins's long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe

Tom Robbins's warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels-including Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Another Roadside Attraction, and Jitterbug Perfume-provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $27.99
Sorry: This item is not currently available.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 64 copies from $2.99
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins
 
 
 
Overview

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins's long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe

Tom Robbins's warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels-including Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Another Roadside Attraction, and Jitterbug Perfume-provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.

In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, weaving together stories of his unconventional life-from his Appalachian childhood to his globe-trotting adventures-told in his unique voice, which combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become, over the course of half a century, a poet interruptus, a soldier, a meteorologist, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counterculture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.

Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the sixties' psychedelic revolution, international roving before Homeland Security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees.

Written with the big-hearted comedy and mesmerizing linguistic invention for which Robbins is known, Tibetan Peach Pie is an invitation into the private world of a literary legend.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062267405
  • ISBN-10: 006226740X
  • Publisher: Ecco Pr
  • Publish Date: May 2014
  • Page Count: 362
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.25 x 9.25 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

Thomas Pynchon wrote that Tom Robbins’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues “dazzled his brain,” calling it a “piece of working magic” and Robbins “a world-class storyteller.” Ever the raconteur, Robbins carries us along a magical wonder tour in this high-flying, Zen koan-like, and cinematic tour of some of the episodes in his journey through space and time. Loosely arranged chronologically, we travel with Tommy Rotten—his mother’s pet name for him—from his birth in Statesville, N.C., through his youth in Virginia—including a stint at Hargrave Military Academy—his meteorological training in the military, and his peripatetic pursuit of language and wonder. In San Francisco, three years before he starts his first novel, he “reaffirms his devotion to language, that magical honeycomb of words into which human reality is forever dissolving and from which it continually reemerges, having invented itself anew… a blue dolphin leaping from a sink of dirty dishes.” Along the way, Robbins offers flashes of enlightenment into the writing of each of his novels, from Another Roadside Attraction to Villa Incognito. He reveals that “all those pursuits of mine have been part and parcel of the same overriding compulsion: a lifelong quest to perpetually interface with the Great Mystery (which may or may not be God) or, at the very least, to further expose myself to wonder.” Master storyteller, indeed, Robbins calls us into his tales and with a wink and a nod, never lets us go until we’ve heard it all. (May)

 
BookPage Reviews

Crazy wisdom from a messy life

Tom Robbins had no intention of writing a memoir. “I was conned into it by the women in my life,” he says with a laugh during a call to his home in the small town of La Conner, Washington.

“They had been pestering me to write down the stories that I’d been telling them—bidden and unbidden—over the years. I wrote 20 pages and showed it to them, thinking that would shut them up. But it had the opposite effect.”

Bless the women in Tom Robbins’ life! They forced him into committing to paper Tibetan Peach Pie, a book that in conversation Robbins calls “an account of my personal pursuit of the marvelous” and in print carries the subtitle “A True Account of an Imaginative Life.” The book is both of these—and more.

Robbins calls his colorful new memoir “an account of my personal pursuit of the marvelous.”

Robbins, as fans of novels like Another Roadside Attraction (1971), Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976), Jitterbug Perfume (1980) or Villa Incognito (2003) know, has a Trickster spirit. He performs a sort of verbal-spiritual-comedic magic on the page. He characterizes his philosophical outlook, formed in part from his interest in Japan and Zen Buddhism, as “crazy wisdom and sacred mischief.”

“When I was in Japan,” he explains, “I got to have an audience with a famous Ninja, quite an old man. His house was full of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. This is true of the wisest people I have encountered in my life. They have all had this sense of playfulness. I think I was more or less born with it. It’s maintaining a fixed eye on the ultimate seriousness of life, but refusing to take events and, particularly, yourself too seriously.”

This energy and perspective also infuses Robbins’ memoir. Beginning as a child growing up in North Carolina and Virginia in the 1930s, Robbins writes that he was possessed by a seemingly inborn bohemianism and a “congenitally comic sensibility” that led his mother to lovingly refer to him as Tommy Rotten. He had a wandering, freedom-seeking spirit. He spent time in a military boarding school (where in a quixotic effort he foolishly re-entered a burning dormitory), time at Washington and Lee University (where Tom Wolfe, a founder of new journalism, was a big man on campus), and time in the U.S. Air Force in Korea (where he taught techniques of weather observation). He had four short marriages early in adulthood and, since 1987, a long one. He was an early, enthusiastic adopter of LSD and describes the first time he tried it as “the most rewarding day of my life, the one day I would not trade for any other.” He writes about, among many other events, encounters with Timothy Leary and Charles Manson and trips to far-flung regions of the world.

But Robbins also had an early love of words and stories. He won prizes—even in Air Force story-writing contests—for his fiction. He became a journalist. He was an art critic and music critic for underground newspapers in Seattle. And then he went to a concert by The Doors.

“It was so unlike any rock concert that Seattle had seen to that point. It just blew everybody away. I was in almost a traumatized state, an ecstatic trauma, when I went back to my house and up into the attic and sat down to write the review. It wasn’t that I was influenced by particular lyrics or by Jim Morrison’s style. It was such a cathartic experience that it loosened up something in my creative process. Almost instinctively I wrote the review. And then I thought, this is the way I want to sound from now on.”

Robbins’ first published novel, Another Roadside Attraction, became a kind of anthem of ’60s (or early ’70s) youth culture. “In that novel,” Robbins says, “I attempted not to write about the ’60s but to recreate the ’60s. In order to do that, I had to reinvent the novel, because the traditional novel moves from minor climax to minor climax to major climax, up an incline plane. But that didn’t lend itself to capturing that period with any depth or truth.”

“Sometimes the muse shows up and sometimes she doesn’t. But at least she knows where you’ll be at 10 o’clock in the morning. She doesn’t have to look for you in the bars or along the beaches.”

That novel captured the zeitgeist so successfully that to this day people assume that Robbins writes while stoned and that his sensibilities are trapped in the ’60s. These assumptions make Robbins laugh. He writes in the memoir that he is a slow and deliberate writer who avoids even mild stimulants while working and that the concerns of his novels have moved further forward into issues of contemporary life than the outdated views of his critics. Robbins’ beautifully profligate prose is labored over one sentence at a time. “If you’re a professional, you show up every day,” he says. “Sometimes the muse shows up and sometimes she doesn’t. But at least she knows where you’ll be at 10 o’clock in the morning. She doesn’t have to look for you in the bars or along the beaches.”

However, for the genre of fiction and the genre of memoir, Robbins waits on slightly different muses. About writing fiction, Robbins says, “I am one of the rare breed of writers who believes that the best part of writing is creating situations in which language can happen. I have to surround the act of writing with an aura of surprise and terror. So I take my research and imagination and my sense of humor and my vague feelings of where I want my day to go and pack them into my little canoe and push out onto the vast and savage ocean and see where the current takes me.”

Of this memoir he says, “I’m not inventing situations, I’m dealing with facts. The challenge for me was to keep the language lively and unpredictable, while remaining faithful to the facts.”

In July, Robbins will turn 82. That hardly seems possible given the antic energy of Tibetan Peach Pie. Wikipedia  and the Library of Congress can’t believe it either—they assert that Robbins is 4 years younger. “Wikipedia,” Robbins wryly notes, “is the fountain of youth. They obviously know more about me than my mother.”

These days Robbins goes to yoga and pilates classes, travels with his wife Alexa, and still shows up on time for his muse. In other words he stays connected with the women we must thank for his new memoir.

“I’ve had a messy life,” Robbins admits. “But in the tangle, I think the silver thread of spirituality, the red thread of passion and, of course, the elastic and multicolored thread of imagination have constantly run through it. And all of that is bound together with the inky thread of writing.”

That’s a self-assessment that sounds just about right.

 

Author photo credit Jeff Corwin.

This article was originally published in the June 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews