Leslie Silko selected this book for a publication award in Seattle.
The book also won a Best Design award at the Bumbershoot Literary Bookfair
Praise from Gary Snyder: "The Best, Funniest, Truest (and secretly truest) writing ever done on life in India
Allen Ginsberg refers to the Dhobi tales, a sequence of prose poems about a lower caste washerman in India, as “twenty relativities or sunyatas that make easy and funny reading—some kind of Hindi good soldier schlemiel―interesting to see in Bharat archtype.”
A Recommendation from GOOD READS
The Census Taker, The: Stories of a Traveler in India and Nepal by Marilyn Stablein
How does a Western cencus taker count non-bodies, or tally marriages in which the only legal and binding ones are bel fruits? Marilyn Stablein leads us on an intimate journey through India and Nepal with a vivid collection of images and encounters. Here, the Western mind meets the Eastern world. Whether describing Tibetan hotels, animal sacrifices, plunging buses, or how a toilet becomes a museum, Stablein has an eye for detail, a facility with language that includes elements of reportage, folk tales, exotic narrative, and a sensitivity to the cultures she evokes. Dreams and reality, enlightenment and practicality weave together creating an American woman's portrait of life deep in the heart of regions unknown to most of us. Blending the conventional with the bizarre, the every-day with the exotic, the mundane with the extraordinary, Stablein introduced us to a cast of unforgettable characters: an untouchable woman from a tantric sect of Shiva worshippers who raids the funeral pyres on the banks of the Ganges; a washerman who teaches "the Art of Washing Clothes" to a group of hippies; a young Westerner who meditates himself into a trance listening to old, scratchy Beatles tapes.