Lost in the Valley of Death
For the Western world, the country of India holds sway as a land of spiritual exploration, whether in yoga, meditation, or enlightened pilgrimage. Following in the tradition of Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, EM. Forster’s A Passage to India, Elizabeth Glibert’s Eat Pray Love and Sarah MacDonald’s Holy Cow, Lost in the Valley of Death is the story of Justin Alexander Shetler, a young American who travels to India to sound out the depths of human strength and endurance in a rugged corner of the Indian Himalayas. His journey spans weeks studying under the guidance of an Indian holy man, living and meditating in a remote cave, and a guided trek to the remotest areas of the valley, from which he would never return.
Journalist Harley Rustad has been chronicling the darker side of Indian tourism for years, investigating foreigners who vanish along the dangerous road to enlightenment. In Shetler he finds the perfect example, exploring the universal search for meaning through one man’s troubled quest.
The title will be released in 2021 by Harper in the US and by Knopf Canada.