All the Fishes Come Home to Roost
An American Misfit in IndiaBook - 2005
In the bestselling tradition of Running with Scissors and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight - a hilarious, affecting memoir of the author's upbringing in an ashram in India.
In 1980, when she was seven, the author's parents, 60s-holdover hippies, leave California for an ashram in a cobra-ridden, drought stricken spot in India. Rachel is the only foreign child in a hundred-mile radius.
The ashram is devoted to Meher Baba, best known as the guru to Pete Townsend and thus for having inspired some songs by the Who, for having kept a lifelong vow of silence, and for having coined the slogan, "Don't worry, be happy."
Cavorting through these pages are some wonderfully eccentric characters - including a holy madman permanently doubled over from years of stooping to collect invisible objects; a senile librarian who nightly sings scales outside Rachel's window, only with grunts instead of notes; and a middle-aged male virgin who begs Rachel to critique his epic spiritual poems. Somehow, Rachel manages to keep her wits and humor about her when everyone else seems to have lost touch with reality. Astutely observed and laugh-out-loud funny, this astonishing debut memoir marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.