Author(s): Richard C. Morais
Growing up in a quaint mountainside village in Japan, Seido Oda's boyhood is spent fishing in clear mountainside streams and helping his parents run their small inn. At the age of eleven, Oda is sent to study with the monks at a nearby Buddhist temple. This peaceful, quiet refuge in the remote mountains of Japan is the only home the introverted monk has ever known until he approaches his fortieth birthday and is ordered by his superior to cross the ocean and open a temple in Brooklyn. Ripped from the isolated, serene life of his homeland temple, New York proves a severe shock to Oda's system. More than that, he has to work with a motley crew of American Buddhists whose misguided practices lead to a host of hilarious cultural misunderstandings. It is only when Oda comes to appreciate the Americans, flaws and all, that he sees his own shortcomings and finally finds that sense of belonging he has always sought. Featuring rich descriptions and a cast of eccentric characters, this is a gently charming story about how we find ourselves in the unlikeliest of places.
Richard C. Morais has been a senior editor at Forbes for over twenty years and was once the magazine's European bureau chief. He grew up in Europe, was an actor before becoming a journalist, and is well connected in the media and film communities. A longtime friend of the late Ismail Merchant, the venerable producer behind Merchant and Ivory Productions, he and Ismail Merchant used to enjoy lavish meals together and always dreamed of collaborating on a project that would join their shared love of food with Richard's desire to write and Ismail's film experience. The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard Morais' international best-selling debut novel, was the result. Buddhaland Brooklyn is Richard Morais's second novel.