Dharma Girl: A Road Trip Across the American Generations

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Ignited out of complacency by news of her mother's cancer diagnosis, 23-year-old Chelsea Cain embarks on a revolution of self to the beat of the road. Cain and her mother set out for Iowa, and the site of the hippie commune where they lived nearly twenty years earlier. Dharma Girl presents an unforgettable journey about home, loss and self-discovery, and a deeply personal manifesto that sheds new light on the philosophical intersections of two of the most written-about ...
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Overview

Ignited out of complacency by news of her mother's cancer diagnosis, 23-year-old Chelsea Cain embarks on a revolution of self to the beat of the road. Cain and her mother set out for Iowa, and the site of the hippie commune where they lived nearly twenty years earlier. Dharma Girl presents an unforgettable journey about home, loss and self-discovery, and a deeply personal manifesto that sheds new light on the philosophical intersections of two of the most written-about generations of the 20th century.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Cain, a 24-year-old student at UCLA, learned that her mother had developed cancer, the stucco walls of her prefab college house didn't seem enough to keep her body and soul together. She recalls a simpler time when, with the '60s raging in the background, she and her parents (now separated) lived on an Iowa commune. For Cain, getting back to her roots, and finding the elusive "Snowqueen"-an imaginary figure her mother told her about years before-was of paramount importance. And so off they went, mother and daughter, down the highways of the Northwest and Midwest, back to Iowa to see what they could find. The family history is fascinating, as are the descriptions of commune life, replete with home gardening, odd jobs and fear of the draft. The story of life on the road is neither Kerouac nor Thelma and Louise, but is a pleasant enough roll. Author Cain is her mother's daughter, so there's little generational conflict here. Get on board if you like pursuing nostalgia rather than forging ahead in the present. Cain would argue that she could not go forward without going back, and that's good enough reason for a road trip. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In her first book, promising author Cain sets out on a journey to recapture her lost self, last seen in an idyllic childhood on an Iowa communal farm. She revives the expectations she once had at age 24, when she was called Snowbird, and the memory of her mother, the Snowqueen. Cain's preoccupation with her not-so-distant past seems shallow and self-preserving, however, in comparison with her mother's illness. The Snowqueen has had surgery for melanoma; at the end of the book, we learn her cancer has metastasized. Cain attempts to re-create the hippie days of her parents, but the results are without substance. More appealing are her own memories of childhoodthe porch light she takes for the sun shining into her room in the middle of the night, gifts from the Snowqueen, and a special friendship with the commune's odd man out. Cain describes her quest as the journey of a "psychonaut"; it's unfortunate that her road from California to Oregon to Iowa offers so little.Janet Ross, Sparks Branch Lib., Nev.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878067890
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Pages: 171
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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