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Lo Bosco, Rocco

Lo Bosco, Rocco

PERSONAL: Married; wife's name Regina. Education: Studied under yoga master Gurani Anjali.

ADDRESSES: Office—Yoga Darshana Center, 180 Great East Neck Rd., West Babylon, NY 11704.

CAREER: Massage therapist, writer, and poet. Yoga Darshana Center, West Babylon, NY, cofounder.

WRITINGS:

Across a Distance of Knives (poetry), Slough Press, 1982.

Buddha Wept: A Novel of Terror and Transcendence, GreyCore Press (Pine Bush, NY), 2003.

Moksha Journal, editor, 1987–; contributor to periodicals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Maelstrom Review, Another Chicago Review, and Blue Unicorn.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Fire Lake, a contemporary novel, for GreyCore Press.

SIDELIGHTS: Rocco Lo Bosco is a massage therapist who, with his wife, Regina, owns and operates a yoga center on Long Island, New York. Lo Bosco is also a poet and writer whose first novel, Buddha Wept: A Novel of Terror and Transcendence, was inspired by his friendship with a survivor of the Cambodian occupation by the cruel despot Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s, as well as by his own beliefs and the teachings of Gurani Anjali, the Calcutta yoga master under whom Lo Bosco studied for more than twenty years. Lo Bosco's second novel, Fire Lake, is a contemporary story about a group of factory workers.

The protagonist of Buddha Wept is Ona Ny, who since childhood has been aware of her mystical self and has used her gift to perceive before the fact the events that will affect her family and friends. When the soldiers enter Phnom Penh and the surrounding countryside, the now-married woman and mother of three fully understands what is about to happen. As actually did happen, Pol Pot orders the inhabitants of the cities and towns to "reeducation centers" where millions die.

Ona and her husband, Eng, welcome the Khmer Rouge as liberators from the dictator Lon Nol, but they soon discover that the new regime is far worse. Ona foresees the future in a dream in which she sees Buddha weeping. When she begs Eng to take the family to Thailand to stay with relatives, he refuses, and they are put in the camps. Ona keeps her spirits high in spite of the daily threats to safety and the endless chores—digging ditches and building roads—and stands up to the soldiers in order to visit her child, who is dying in the children's camp. The family survives only because the camp's commander enlists Ona to care for his children, and when the Khmer Rouge falls Ona and her family are transferred to Thailand and eventually resettle in California.

A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Buddha Wept "an extended sketch as much as a novel, but nevertheless chilling and affecting, narrated simply, without melodrama or bombast." Valerie Linet, a reviewer for Chronogram online, felt that one of the best things about the book "is that it raises questions that can't be answered, and the strength of the book is that Lo Bosco doesn't try to. Why do humans prey on each other? What is the source of our commitment to live life, regardless of how desperate the existence?"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2002, review of Buddha Wept: A Novel of Terror and Transcendence, pp. 1721-1722.

ONLINE

Chronogram, http://www.chronogram.com/ (December 14, 2003), Valerie Linet, review of Buddha Wept.

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