A Poet of the Invisible World: A Novel (Paperback)
A FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD
In the tradition of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha comes a new spiritual novel that is a stunning feat of storytelling and imagination.
A Poet of the Invisible World follows Nouri, a boy born in thirteenth-century Persia with four ears instead of two. Orphaned as an infant, he’s taken into a Sufi order, where he meets an assortment of dervishes and embarks on a path toward spiritual awakening.
Along the way, Nouri will find himself in the sumptuous court of a sultan, a barren farm in the hills of Spain, a bustling city on the north coast of Africa, and a monastery perched high in the mountains. He will fall in love—and encounter
an adversary who will try to destroy that love.
As Nouri stumbles from one experience to the next, he grows into manhood. Each trial he endures will shatter another obstacle within—and lead him toward transcendence.
Michael Golding’s previous work has been described as “brilliant” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer) and “so lavish and so colorful, it’s like a meal in the open air, laid out on brocade” (Los Angeles Times). With this new novel, seven years in the writing, he has created a gripping tale that deals with many of life’s deepest questions. A Poet of the Invisible World will astonish readers as it awakens them to the poetry inside themselves.
About the Author
Michael Golding is the author of Simple Prayers and Benjamin's Gift. He has also enjoyed success as an actor and screenwriter; his adaptation of the international best-seller Silk starred Keira Knightly and Alfred Molina. He lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northern California.
"Golding presents us with some heady themes in A Poet of the Invisible World. We’re asked to consider how we seek life’s truths, the curative and expressive roles of art, and how experience–often painful–can bring us to a deeper understanding of life. In the wrong hands, these themes could make for a ponderous novel. It is a testament to Golding’s skills as a writer that there’s a curious buoyancy here, a charm, a feeling that this isn’t so much an intellectual exercise as it is one of pure storytelling. At times, A Poet of the Invisible World reads like a story handed down in the oral tradition, in the same way some of Gabriel García-Márquez’s stories do. And despite its many Dickensian twists and turns, Nouri’s search for spiritual fulfillment is not complex. 'The truth is simple,' Nouri tells Ryka one day as they climb a mountain. 'It is we who are complicated.' It’s what Golding seems to be telling us as well in this beautiful novel." —Ken Harvey, Lambda Literary
"Golding creates an Arabian Nights atmosphere infused with compassion for human weakness and diversity, and appreciation for the wonder and temporality of all things. He depicts darkly realistic and luminously magical moments through evocative imagery, captivating storytelling, and gentle insight into one flawed aspirant's search for identity, enlightenment, and acceptance." —Publisher's Weekly
"Golding’s writing is always beautiful, but this story has a lushness you will sink into." —Angel Curtis, Out Smart
“Golding provides a fascinating primer on the ascetic ideals of Sufism while glorifying our physical natures, elegantly describe Nouri’s sexual awakening and the love he feels for his young protégée, Ryka. This mesmerizing novel is a gift to anyone looking for a transcendent reading experience.” —Sally Bissell, Library Journal
“Taut storytelling and vivid characterization…an astute portrayal of human frailties (jealousy,
cowardice) and the redeeming power of words and love.” —Poornima Apte, Booklist
“In this stunningly vivid novel, Michael Golding has created a world that's anything but invisible. With grace and magic reminiscent of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), A POET OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD is an ecstatic, enlightened whirlwind of profound contemplation and resplendent beauty, grounded by the certainty of its richly saturated landscape, enthralling story and lyrical voice. I was utterly enchanted!” —Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being
“This is a novel that we, as readers, yearn to find: The pages contain a journey, a fable, and a lifetime. It is a book that one feels one has previously known in dreams, and which glows in memory and visions long after it is closed.” —Vincent Lam, author of The Headmaster's Wager
“During the time I was reading this mysterious, enchanting novel, I found myself picking it up with increasing urgency, driven by a kind of yearning at once spiritual and literary. Deftly wrapping transcendence in experience, enlightenment in pain, and the sacred in the earthly, Michael Golding has given us a story for the ages.” —John Burnham Schwartz, bestselling author of Reservation Road and The Commoner