The Census Taker

Stories of a Traveler in India and Nepal
How does a Western cencus taker count non-bodies, or tally marriages in which the only legal and binding ones are bel fruits? Marilyn Stablein leads us on an intimate journey through India and Nepal with a vivid collection of images and encounters. Here, the Western mind meets the Eastern world. Whether describing Tibetan hotels, animal sacrifices, plunging buses, or how a toilet becomes a museum, Stablein has an eye for detail, a facility with language that includes elements of reportage, folk tales, exotic narrative, and a sensitivity to the cultures she evokes. Dreams and reality, enlightenment and practicality weave together creating an American woman's portrait of life deep in the heart of regions unknown to most of us.

Marilyn Stablein

Marilyn Stablein left Berkeley as a teenager to travel overland to India. After seven years in the Himalayas in the post-Beat 1960's she wrote Sleeping in Caves, a memoir, The Census Taker Traveler's Tales, and Night Travels to Tibet an ongoing sequence of prose poems based on dreams.
"The funniest, best, truest (and secretly truest) writing ever done on life in India" --Gary Snyder
Splitting Hard Ground: New Poems won the New Mexico Book Award and the National Federation of Press Women Award. She is also a widely exhibited visual artist working with artist books many of which are based on her collage journals. She teaches her popular memoir workshop "Looking Back/Looking Within: Writing Your Life Stories" and is a frequent speaker and reader at schools, colleges and libraries around the country and abroad.

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