About Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life*, Tom Robbins simply states “This is not an autobiography.” Before reading this, I didn’t know much about his personal life and his upbringing, though I’m surprised that I never even looked up his history. I started and ended my relationship with Tom Robbins with Still Life with Woodpecker, a favorite book of a good friend of mine.
I loved Still Life With Woodpecker—an attempt to answer the important question: how to make love stay. And I loved loved seeing it on Hysterical Literature (Warning: Not Safe For Work). I felt like Tibetan Peach Pie contextualized Woodpecker—at least in terms of Robbins’ style and approach to writing. I hadn’t read anything much similar to his stuff, aside from Vonnegut, maybe, but even then, they are quite different from each other. Just from this book alone, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Robbins had an unconventional childhood. He grew up in the Appalachian region during the Great Depression, and this book stumbles across certain points of his life, somewhat randomly collected and gathered into casual themes and common threads. At 82, he has a lot of stories up his sleeve, and it’s a wonder (and a joy!) that he has not forgotten them.
Described as a non-memoir that “waddles and quacks enough like a memoir to be mistaken for one if the light isn’t right,” Tibetan Peach Pie is a collection of stories Robbins has been telling “the women in [his] life,” arranged according to his life’s timeline. And what a life it is. After a childhood straight out of a Robbins novel, he went on to go to college, write under Tom Wolfe’s editorship at his college paper, drop out to find himself, become an art critic, all before even starting on his fiction. And that’s just the start of it.
I wasn’t alive or capable of much (haha) when Robbins’ novels catapulted into near cult-ish love and adoration, but I can imagine what comfort they’ve given those who lived in those times. I loved learning about his life and how he came to be Tom Robbins, and it even pushed me into adding some of his other novels on my to-read list. There are times when his stories feel repetitive, or his writing feels like “too much,” but for the most part, it was a very welcome look into an imaginative life, fueled by a highly imaginative mind. I love that the chapters are quite short, because I think that this book is best ingested in small doses.
I’ve got (2) Copies of Tom Robbins’ Tibetan Peach Pie to give away, courtesy of Fully Booked. This contest is open to everyone who lives anywhere and is able to pick up the copy of the book from the Fully Booked BGC branch. If you or a proxy can claim the book if you win, please feel free to enter. I will not be shipping out any copies, sorry.
Mechanics can be found here:
Winners, each of whom will win (1) copy, are picked randomly using Rafflecopter, regardless of the answer in the comments. I will contact the winners via email once the contest period is over. If after 24 hours and a follow up, I don’t get a response, I will pick another winner. Please use a valid email address when entering this contest, so we don’t run into issues. Thank you. :)
* Copies of the book were provided by Fully Booked.
Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tom Robbins is available in Fully Booked.