An award-winning playwright, Schwartz is the author of the novel "The Extraordinary Pupfish of Calaveras County." As a teenager, he became so fascinated with Chinese philosophy and poetry that he went on to study Mandarin and classical Chinese at Harvard. He lives in a redwood grove with his partner and their Queensland Heeler.
A study of the Chinese concept of the dao ('the Way'), this unusual book is set against a 10,000-mile unescorted trip through the China of the 1980s, tinkling bicycles everywhere--no cars, no high rises and a typical income of $20 a month--were the norms. On a meditational journey that took him to temples and monasteries, Schwartz seeks to describe the experience of meditation from the 'inside.'