After Nearly a Century, the Famous Novel Siddhartha Has a Sequel
Impacted by Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha at an Early Age, William Irwin Writes the Sequel
By: Shanti Arts LLC
William Irwin, professor of philosophy at King's College in Pennsylvania, and well-known originator, writer, and editor of books connecting popular culture and philosophy, has written a sequel titled Little Siddhartha. This lyrical novel follows the son of the main character from Hesse's novel. The younger Siddhartha has grown to become a wealthy merchant with little concern for spiritual things. His own son, however, relates more to wandering monks, and that interest leads him to a connection with his grandfather.
Irwin has been teaching Hesse's Siddhartha in philosophy classes for over twenty years and has discussed it with hundreds of students. One question he always asks them is: What do you think happens to Siddhartha's son after the novel ends? "So," says Irwin, "I've been thinking about this and discussing it for a long time. Finally, I answered the question myself by writing this sequel."
Irwin says that he first read Hesse's Siddhartha in high school, and it had a big impact on him at a time when he was figuring out what to become. Irwin says he has always been a seeker, and like the character Siddhartha, he "took things to extremes before learning to walk the middle path."
The original Siddhartha and its sequel highlight the fact that everyone must follow a unique path toward wisdom, but the constants of love, forgiveness, family, and nature provide the enduring backdrop to the journey.
Irwin hopes that people will take to heart the book's message of love and forgiveness. People do not always understand one another, and this can lead to lots of unfortunate situations. "In Little Siddhartha, we see that, as the saying goes, 'To understand all is to forgive all.'"
William Irwin is Chair of the Philosophy Department at King's College in Pennsylvania, where he teaches a course on Eastern Philosophy. Irwin originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books with Seinfeld and Philosophy in 1999. The Simpsons and Philosophy, The Matrix and Philosophy, and many other books followed.
Released in mid-October, Little Siddhartha is published by Shanti Arts Publishing, Brunswick, Maine. It is available in both print and digital formats.
"This beautiful book is a worthy successor to the Hermann Hesse classic, Siddhartha. It explores with great heart some of the most important spiritual and existential issues we all confront, and within the context of a compelling story. Little Siddhartha resonates with its own distinct wisdom."
—Tom Morris, author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors and The Oasis Within
"Irwin makes Hesse's classic story of youth, restlessness, and spiritual hunger as urgent as ever. In Little Siddhartha we see that as one grows older, the longing only grows deeper. Like Hesse, Irwin captures the timeless spiritual journey in beautifully mystical prose. Books, like rivers, don't speak. Nor do they have magical powers. But if you close your eyes and listen to little Siddhartha's story, you'll probably beg to differ."
—Eric Bronson, author of King of Rags
"This book is about an Indian boy, Siddhartha, who is on a quest to find his own path in life against the wishes of his father. Irwin writes about Siddhartha's journey from the inside, as though maybe this boy is really him. But by the end, I found myself thinking, maybe this boy is really me."
—Sharon M. Kaye, author of The Aristotle Quest: Black Market Truth