By RICHARD C MORAIS
How a repressed Buddhist priest from Japan finally finds inner peace in Brooklyn
Reverend Oda, a set-in-his-ways middle-aged Buddhist priest, is sent by his Japanese superiors across the ocean with instructions to build a temple in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. As the curmudgeonly priest carries out his duties, he is forced by New York and its colorful residents to confront his past, and along the way the monk finds himself unwittingly undergoing a profound transformation as the seasons around him change.
Buddhaland Brooklyn sold globally and is in development as a premium television series with K&L Productions.
“Morais lovingly renders both the country inn where [Reverend] Oda grew up and the Little Calabria neighborhood in Brooklyn. Buddhaland Brooklyn is best enjoyed as a slow read. The world Morais creates for Oda and the reader is quirky and enchanting. His recurring rumination on the meaning of enlightenment and acceptance is worth savoring.” – The Washington Independent Review of Books.
“Through Oda’s story, Morais shows the modernist influences on traditional Buddhism, contrasting the austere, natural serenity of temple life to with the pent-up frustrations of a boxy, concrete metropolis. It is a dilemma familiar to believers of all faiths seeking to reconcile their own viewpoints against those of their religion. Readers who follow Morais’s lyrical narrative will find spiritual redemption of their own in his search for the paradisiacal Buddhaland.”- Shelf Awareness (“Starred Review.”)
“What follows is a charming and touching tale of discovery. Oda not only experiences the obvious cultural differences but also launches a journey to discovering a deeper sense of himself, his faith, and his purpose. A reflective story that is certain to be appreciated by those who enjoy reading about the human condition.” – Library Journal.
“Morais’ follow-up to his debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, is a delightful and insightful fish-out-of-water tale. The fish is a Japanese Buddhist monk Seido Oda, separated from his family at an early age and immersed only in prayer, painting and poetry. Oda’s serene life is upended when he is suddenly sent to Brooklyn to open a Buddhist temple. There he encounters fund-raising cocktail parties, Buddhism for Dummies, and a woman named Jennifer.” – The New York Post ( “Required Reading”)