ONEONTA – Hartwick College Professor of Religious Studies Sandy Huntington’s debut novel, “Maya,” has just been published by Wisdom Books/Simon & Schuster.
“Maya,” which means “illusion” in Sanskrit, is filled with rich observations and arresting reflections, mining the porous border between memory and imagination, dealing with themes of sex, loss, and redemption. It is set in India in 1975, and is an extended meditation on the unraveling of identity.
A description of the book from the Simon & Schuster website reads:
“It is 1975 and India is in turmoil,” Simon & Schuster’s website reads. “American Stanley Harrington arrives to study Sanskrit philosophy and escape his failing marriage. When he finds himself witness to a violent accident, he begins to question his grip on reality.
“’Maya’ introduces us to an entertaining cast of hippies, expats, and Indians of all walks of life. From a hermit hiding in the Himalayan jungle since the days of the British Raj, to an accountant at the Bank of India with a passion for Sanskrit poetry, to the last in a line of Brahman scholars, Stanley’s path ultimately leads him to a Tibetan yogi, who enlists the American’s help in translating a mysterious ancient text.”
“The frank, passionate love scenes, unflinching views on poverty and cruelty, and Stanley’s struggles with illusion make this a novel both of intellect and humanity.”
Review in Shambhala Sun magazine
An expert in Indian Buddhism and South and East Asian religions and philosophies, Huntington has published, in addition to Maya, a book on Buddhist philosophy and numerous articles in scholarly journals, and presented papers at conferences around the world. He is fluent in several modern and classical Asian languages, and teaches an array of classes – from introductory to advanced – at Hartwick College. He has held a variety of fellowships in his career, including a Smithsonian/American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Research Fellowship (1988-89). At Hartwick, Huntington has also won the Hartwick Faculty Research Grant (2011), the Margaret B. Bunn Award for Excellence in Teaching (2004), and Hartwick College Faculty Award for Innovative Teaching (1996).
Among his degrees, Huntington has earned a Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures and a M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan.
Huntington conducted an autograph signing last month at BookExpo America (BEA), the largest book and author event North America, and was recently interviewed by the “Out of Bounds” radio program, which aired in the Oneonta area and will be archived at WSKG-FM (91.7).