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Set in the early 1970s, A Separate Reality is the story of Mark Grosfeld, a twelve-year-old growing up in Phoenix with politically active liberal Jewish parents. Mark, who is lonely and unhappy, meets Anna Voigt, a teacher who becomes his mentor. Anna, an ex-hippie poet, encourages Mark to write, and he becomes part of a circle of teenagers who meet at Anna's house to smoke pot and read poetry. She introduces him to the Beats, Zen Buddhism and the popular pseudo-anthropologist, Carlos Castaneda, author of Journey to Ixtlan. Mark goes on a semi-comic suburban vision quest, trying to conduct his life according to the teachings he uncovers in the books he finds through Anna -- most significantly, Castaneda's. Mark soon discovers all these books share the belief that through a loss of "self" one can, somehow, transcend reality. A Separate Reality is a novel about the risks and appeal of the desire to be perfect; a portrait of the artist as a young man in the Seventies.
Robert Marshall, a writer and visual artist, lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Blithe House Quarterly and in the anthologies Fresh Men 2, Afterwords and Queer 13, and his artwork has been exhibited widely throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. He is the recipient of a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.
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- ID: 9780786717156
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