Tuesday, September 23, 2003
If the name Carlos Castaneda makes you roll your eyes, this may be the book for you. Amy Wallace, a woman who knows more about the New Age would-be spiritual leader than anyone should have to, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her association with him, and in Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life With Carlos Castaneda, she dishes the dirt: He had a harem. He was a big fat liar. He was manipulative. Wallace's story is full of sad tales of misguided truth-seekers who figured Castaneda for some kind of guru and wound up facing a truth they didn't like: Their guy had problems. But somehow, the author finds wisdom in her former lover's words and claims his books are well worth a read. We don't know about that (we're still busy rolling our eyes), but her book sounds like it might have a couple of insights for people who feel lost. Wallace reads at 7:30 p.m. at Black Oak Books, 1491 Shattuck (at Vine), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 486-0698 or go to www.blackoakbooks.com.