Friday, June 28, 2019

What is Domenica Ruta reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Domenica Ruta, author of Last Day: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
Right now I'm reading In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. It's about this Tibetan Buddhist monk living in India, a man who essentially grew up as royalty. He's from a long lineage of esteemed teachers and monks and has led a very sheltered life full of meditation and study but not much dish washing or laundry or even walking alone. One night he leaves his monastery, telling no one, to spend a few years in poverty and anonymity begging for food on the streets. Of course the narrative is interspersed with bits of spiritual wisdom and practical techniques for dealing with the noisy chaos of regular life, but these two threads - the story and the lessons - are so...[read on]
About Last Day, from the publisher:
In Domenica Ruta’s profoundly original novel, the end of the world comes once a year. Every May 28, humanity gathers to anticipate the planet’s demise—and to celebrate as if the day is truly its last.

On this holiday, three intersecting sets of characters embark on a possibly last-chance quest for redemption. In Boston, bookish wunderkind Sarah is looking for love and maybe a cosmic reversal from the much older Kurt, a tattoo artist she met at last year’s Last Day BBQ—but he’s still trying to make amends to the family he destroyed long ago. Dysfunctional Karen keeps getting into trouble, especially when the voices she’s been hearing coax her to abandon everything to search for her long-lost adoptive brother; her friend Rosette has left the Jehovah’s Witnesses to follow a new pastor at the Last Kingdom on Earth, where she brings Karen on this fateful day. Meanwhile, above them all, three astronauts on the International Space Station, Bear, an American; Russian Svec; and billionaire Japanese space tourist Yui, contemplate their lives as well as their precious Earth from afar.

With sparkling wit, verbal ingenuity, and wild imagination, Ruta has created an alternate world in which an ancient holiday brings into stark reflection our deepest dreams, desires, hopes, and fears. In this tour-de-force debut novel she has written a dazzling, haunting love letter to humanity and to our planet.
Visit Domenica Ruta's website.

The Page 69 Test: Last Day.

Writers Read: Domenica Ruta.

--Marshal Zeringue