In 1969, young Kirin Narayan's older brother, Rahoul, announced that he was quitting school and leaving home to seek enlightenment with a guru. From boyhood, his restless creativity had continually surprised his family, but his departure shook up everyone - especially Kirin, who adored her high-spirited, charismatic brother.A touching, funny, and always affectionate memoir, "My Family and Other Saints" traces the reverberations of Rahoul's spiritual journey through the entire family. As their beachside Bombay home becomes a crossroads for Westerners seeking Eastern enlightenment, Kirin's sari-wearing American mother wholeheartedly embraces ashrams and gurus, adopting her son's spiritual quest as her own. Her Indian father, however, coins the term 'urug' - guru spelled backward - to mock these seekers, while young Kirin, surrounded by radiant holy men, parents drifting apart, and a motley of young, often eccentric Westerners, is left to find her own answers.Deftly recreating the turbulent emotional world of her bicultural adolescence, but overlaying it with the hard-won understanding of adulthood, Narayan presents a large, rambunctious cast of quirky characters.
Throughout, she brings to life not just a family but also a time when just about everyone, it seemed, was consumed by some sort of spiritual quest.