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Born in Saigon, poet and novelist Quan Barry grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her latest novel, When I’m Gone, Look For Me in the East, follows the story of two telepathic twins as they journey across the vast Mongolian landscape in search of a tulku, or reincarnate lama. Along the way, the twins grapple with questions of desire, doubt, and the place of faith in a changing world.

In today’s episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle editor-in-chief James Shaheen and co-host Sharon Salzberg sit down with Barry to discuss the joys and responsibilities of writing fiction, the tensions between monasticism and modernity, and her travels across the Mongolian steppe.

Life As It Is is a podcast series that features Buddhist practitioners speaking about their everyday lives. You can listen to more of Life As It Is on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about our podcast. Write us at feedback@tricycle.org.

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