A Blue Hand

Available in a paperback edition

Ange Mlinko writes:

The story Baker tells isn’t simple. We’re introduced to a disparate cast of characters some who go from the US to India, some who go from India to the US, some who make it as far as Tangier or Paris, and some who vanish into history. We hopscotch between New York, San Francisco, Mexico, France, Morocco, India; we ricochet from Bombay to Delhi to Calcutta and Benares, with visits to sundry ashrams and temples in between: in Pondicherry, Tiruvannamalai, Mathura, Jaipur, Dharamsala. First we’re in 1962, then 1958, then 1948, then 1971. There’s no timeline, no map, and no list of dramatis personae. Baker trusts us to pay attention on this manic ride, which is meant perhaps to re-create the disorientation of the senses recommended by Rimbaud and diagnosed by William James.

(LRB 20 November 2008)