When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East: A Novel by Quan Barry


From the acclaimed author of We Ride Upon Sticks comes a luminous novel that moves across a windswept Mongolia about estranged twin brothers who make a journey of duty, conflict, and renewed understanding.

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Tasked with finding the reincarnation of a great lama somewhere in the vast Mongolian landscape, the young monk Chuluun seeks the help of his identical twin, Mun, who as a child was recognized as a reincarnated being but has since renounced the monastic life they once shared.

Proving once again that she is a writer of immense range and imagination, Quan Barry carries us across a terrain as unforgiving as it is beautiful and culturally varied, from the western Altai mountains to the eerie starkness of the Gobi Desert to the ancient capital of Chinggis Khaan. As their country stretches before them, questions of faith—along with more earthly matters of love and brotherhood—haunt the twins, who can hear each other’s thoughts.

Are our lives our own, or do we belong to something larger? When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East is a stunningly far-flung examination of our individual struggle to retain our convictions and discover meaning in a fast-changing world, as well as a meditation on accepting what simply is.

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East: A Novel by Quan Barry