The Last Buddha
In 1995, the Dalai Lama named a six-year-old boy as the eleventh Panchen Lama, the second highest dignitary in Tibetan Buddhism. China’s government removed the boy from service and installed a figure loyal to its regime. Marcus Braun makes the real saint reappear twenty years later – in California, of all places. But is the real one the right one? The latest novel by one of the most original German-language authors.
So far in life, Jonathan’s purpose in life has been mainly surfing. Then a journalist turns up in Los Angeles, who tells him who he really is: a Buddhist saint, the legitimate Panchen Lama. Jonathan accepts his vocation and embarks on a crash course in being a Lama, where he soon reaches his limits. He longs for a major mission. He yearns to go back to his roots, to Tibet – and receives an invitation from his Chinese competitor. And when the real and the fake Panchen Lama face each other, all certainties falter. With each of his polished, weightless sentences, Marcus Braun urges us to realise that we should not trust the ground beneath our feet.