Mel Mathews: Having recently published one of your collections of poetry, The Song Less/on (il piccolo editions), undoubtedly I am a big fan of your work. However, today I’d like to learn more about your just published Phantom Buddha (Alba Books). Why the title: Phantom Buddha?
Alvaro Cardona-Hine: Phantom Buddha is an autobiographical novel dealing with the time in my Forties when, after reading extensively about Zen Buddhism, I began actual practice under a Japanese Zen Master who turned out to be a womanizer. The woman I was with was lured away from me. It was a painful experience that took me several decades to translate into a novel. There is a blend of reality and dreams I had during those days that accentuates the condition of a man in the most dire of circumstances. My friend Pierre Delattre, author of Tales of a Dalai Lama, consider this work of mine to be a breakthrough into a new kind of literature. Continue reading