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Conference of Birds
The resonant sequel to Meritocracy: A Love Story
It is the late '70s in Manhattan and God is dead. A group of people come together to explore the void left behind. Neither Buddhist nor Sufi nor Hindu nor New Age, but rather New York mongrels of the spiritual, as brash and defiant as their chaotic, bankrupt city, they embark on what seems like a journey described in a 12th century Persian poem.
Among them are the shy and sweet-natured Bobby, a gifted cartoonist and the group's mascot; Maisie the acid-tongued rich girl who is fighting a two-front war, against mental instability and Hodgkin's disease; the narrator Louie, a very nearly accidental pilgrim torn between his friends and the purpose that has engulfed him; and the group's austere leader Joe, a saint to some, a pervert to others.
Their impossible and youthful quest hurtles the group's members towards a destiny they cannot even imagine. Is it oblivion they seek, or remembrance? As the dramatic climax of their journey envelops them, distinctions between internal and external, heart and mind, word and silence, all collapse, rendering the world an ambiguous and mysterious place.
About the Author
Jeffrey Lewis won two Emmys and many other honors as a writer and producer of Hill Street Blues. His "Meritocracy Quartet" is intended to chart the progress of a generation. The first book of the quartet, Meritocracy: A Love Story, won both the Independent Publishers Book Award for General Fiction and the ForeWord Book of the Year Silver Award for Fiction. He lives in Los Angeles and Castine, Maine.