A 30-year-old British woman travels around the southwestern United States, the focal point of the New Age movement and a desert landscape where "someone you can rely upon to have an opinion about soap opera or McDonald's turns out to have seen angels in her backyard and the man who sells you a cup of coffee thinks himself a reincarnation of Nefertiti." McGrath struggles to maintain a sense of ironic amusement as she encounters an assortment of eccentric folks, from a pudgy, sexually confused "angel" to a "convergence" of people who have achieved immortality--or claim to, at any rate--by deciding that they don't feel like dying. American readers may find some difficulty warming up to McGrath's British prose style, but the humor and insight in Motel Nirvana
are well worth the effort. --Ron Hogan
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A British journalist checks into the American Southwest to spend a year among pilgrims in the more outre regions of inner space and among the spiritual snake-oil salesmen who serve them. McGrath's wanderings take her literally and figuratively all over the map?to spiffy, boutique-choked Santa Fe, to the ill-fated Biosphere, to a UFO drop-in at an Arizona canyon, to an orgy of "cellular intercourse" among a cult of self-professed "immortals." She intersperses passages of high humor with more sober disquisitions on the real history of Europeans in the West, from the Spanish seekers for El Dorado to the scientists working at the National Laboratory at Los Alamos. There's a glancing, supercilious tone to much of the writing here, and McGrath's prose sometimes shades into deep purple (in the city of Phoenix, "the mammon virus throbs everywhere, extending its spider legs into the lowliest corner of the city, poisoning its soul"). But McGrath concludes her first book with a passionate elegy for the indigenous cultures being plundered and homogenized by New Age hucksters?and with a moving confession of her own that brings the work to an inspired conclusion.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.