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4.58 of 5 stars 4.58  ·  rating details  ·  12 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Suzanne Paola fuses the Tibetan bardo journey with Western epic tradition in ways that are both comic and harrowing. Bardo is the intermediate state after death when the soul wanders through the heavens and the hells while trying to avoid rebirth into samsara - the realm of the material - and reach nirvana. Paola presents a series of this life's bardo experiences: drug use ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 24th 1998 by University of Wisconsin Press
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Once I learned in the preface what the term "bardo" meant, it all made sense: "Bardo is Tibetan for the Buddhist state of in-between, when the soul is between death and rebirth. According to Paola's prolog, the soul is tempted away from nirvana into reincarnation, synonymous with suffering. A reformed heroin addict, Paola has passed from the bardo of unremembering into the pain of consciousness, and her considerable descriptive powers are infused with both pain and delight."

The poems are awesome
I enjoyed the 2nd half of this book better than the first, by magnitudes. Someday I will re-read the book and see if this impression holds.
Elizabeth J.
Positively stunning. I return to this book often.
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