The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul
Noelle Oxenhandler, SSU English Professor, and Author of The Wishing Year
Original date: Thursday, December 3, 2009

Download MP3 Audio File Here (10.8 MB)

Do Wishes Have Power? If so, what kind of power is it and how can this power be tapped? Is there danger in wishing? If so, what kind of danger is it, and how can this danger be avoided? Or is wishing nothing more than "making castles in the air," an idle and ineffective activity that is best left to children and fools? These are the questions we'll be exploring this evening as Noelle Oxenhandler shares some of the findings from her captivating memoir, The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul. A skeptic at heart and a practicing Buddhist, it wasn't easy for her to set aside her doubts and dare to launch three wishes. But one New Year's Day she did exactly that—and what followed was a year of remarkable discoveries, poignant and sometimes very comic encounters, and many unexpected gifts. As yet another New Year approaches, it seems the perfect time to contemplate the art of wishing—for believers and skeptics alike!

Noelle Oxenhandler is the author of The Wishing Year (Random House, 2009) as well as two other non-fiction books. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, VOGUE, OPRAH Magazine, and elsewhere. They have been included in The Best American Spiritual Essays and Best American Buddhist Essays of the Year collections. A contributing editor for Tricycle Magazine, she has been a practicing Buddhist since 1969, and has collaborated with Jack Kornfield on such books as The Wise Heart and The Buddha Is Still Teaching. She is a full-time member of the English Department at Sonoma State University, where she teaches Creative Writing/Non-fiction.

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