By George Minot
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781400042746, 357pp.
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
From George Minot, author of The Blue Bowl (“Inexpressibly moving. It’s thrilling to find a writer this good.”—Amy Hempel), a new novel, moving, sensual, athletic (and aesthetic), set in the downtown New York yoga world at the turn of the millennium, a love story about a once-trendy artist who’s lost his bearings and finds his life reinvigorated by his new yoga practice—and a certain barefooted yoga teacher.
To Billy, who used to show in the hot new galleries in the East Village of the ’80s and early ’90s, his downhill progression is what he calls “the vague decline.” But life feels exquisitely transformed by his new daily yoga practice (“a little hothouse sanctuary in the big city”) clearing the way; creating insight, flexibility, clarity; breathing; sweating; variations of vulnerability, arched open emotion. Billy is also enraptured by his new yoga crush. Soon he and Amanda, a yoga teacher (her “poses are pure,” “flexible and solid,” “gliding easily in her element”), are in love and are caught up in the newness and wonder of their happiness. They are inseparable—their practice is transformative; they can’t tell where one ends and the other begins, and they are transported into a dream world of their own . . .
Until a devastating diagnosis blindsides Amanda, and she begins to recede from Billy’s life. As he feels the thousand threads between them splitting apart and is helpless to stop it, he is forced to turn inward to his art and to his yoga practice to reconcile, with grace and love, his loss, his heart, and mend the abiding wound that he comes to realize was there long before Amanda seemingly completed his soul.
Moving, inspiring, transporting, a romantic novel of yoga, inner mystery, and surrender.