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  • Published: 31 March 1999
  • ISBN: 9780553208849
  • Imprint: Bantam Dell
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $11.99

Siddhartha




The classic novel of a quest for knowledge that has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers—a perennial favorite for graduation gifts.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Though set in a place and time far removed from the Germany of 1922, the year of the book’s debut, the novel is infused with the sensibilities of Hermann Hesse’s time, synthesizing disparate philosophies–Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism–into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man’s search for meaning.

It is the story of the quest of Siddhartha, a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. Traveling among these people and experiencing life’s vital passages–love, work, friendship, and fatherhood–Siddhartha discovers that true knowledge is guided from within.

  • Published: 31 March 1999
  • ISBN: 9780553208849
  • Imprint: Bantam Dell
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $11.99

About the author

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse was born in Calw, Württemberg, in 1877. He intended to follow in his father's footsteps as a Protestant pastor and missionary, but rebelled against traditional academic education and instead worked for a while as a bookseller, antique dealer and mechanic. After his first novel Peter Camenzind was published in 1904, he devoted himself to writing. In 1919, as a protest against German militarism in the First World War, Hesse moved back to Switzerland where he lived in self-imposed exile until his death at the age of eighty-five in 1962.

Hesse was strongly influenced by his interest in music, the psychoanalytic theories of Jung and Eastern thought. His early novels were traditional, but with the publication in 1919 of Demian, a Freudian study of adolescence with Nietzschean emphasis on the superior individual, he became an 'uninhibited innovator.' Each of his later novels, including Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and Narcissus and Goldmund, was a step in Hesse's determined search for the self. The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel [Magister Ludi]) was his last and consummate work.

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