Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins – Book

Tom Robbins has written a new book with the title Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an
Adventurous Life
. I haven’t read a Tom Robbins book in years but he rated
high enough in my book memories for me to add his newest publication to my
list. Then someone else, a friend of mine, read it and seemed so happy about it
that I moved the book to the top of my list and downloaded it to my Kindle. It’s
not my usual fare because it is a memoir, but I have enjoyed a few other
memoirs recently.
Tom Robbins loves oddball titles like Another Roadside Attraction, Even
Cowgirls Get the Blues
, Still Life
with Woodpecker
, Jitterbug Perfume,
and Skinny Legs and All. That’s as
far as I got with his oeuvre because my life took me in different directions for
a while.
Robbins wrote with humor and a sort of cosmic sensibility that
allowed him to approach some of the issues of the day (60’s and 70’s) with wit
and imagination; a cross between down home common sense, jazz riff, and Eastern
philosophy. He seemed to be a “hippie” author, but in this memoir he places his
roots a bit earlier in the “beat” generation and the bohemian culture that
preceded the hippie/counterculture movements. He was a contemporary of some
pretty famous people like Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and he knew
these poets personally from in his days living in Greenwich Village and San
Francisco.
He was born a North Carolina Appalachian boy during the
Great Depression but his parents moved up in the world quickly and Tom Robbins,
all on his own power, rose up in the world beyond even his own imaginings. Don’t
fall for his “aw shucks” disclaimers. He was very smart and he did not have
many limits on his adventurous spirit. He did not have a successful career as a
fiction writer right away but he paid his dues as a journalist and finally fell
into a successful stint as an art critic in Seattle. He learned on the job and
became a respected art critic before he wrote his first novel.

He went in and out of several relationships. He tried
hallucinogenics (LSD), he knew Timothy Leary, and he spent some time with the “flower
children” in Haight-Ashbury. Eventually he met his life partner and he found a
home in a small town in Washington State. I am a far more timid creature than
Tom Robbins and I can see that his lack of fear in tackling new situations made
his life journey more interesting than what most of us experience on this
earth. I came to understand that what Tom Robbins and I have had in common all
these years is that we both see life in terms of “the paradoxes”. Tom Robbins
earned his Tibetan Peach Pie. Given that I am not nearly as adventurous, my pie
would more than likely lack the Tibetan factor. But plain peach pie is pretty
darn good too and will suffice.
By Nancy Brisson

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