AirTalk for March 8, 2012

Author Mark Salzman finds himself adrift

By Mark Salzman

The Man in the Empty Boat

Born into an anxiety ridden family author Mark Salzman has always had anxiety in his life. When he was young, martial arts, meditation, tai chi, and a rigorous writing schedule brought him solace and calmed his nerves. But in midlife, a crippling case of writer’s block and a sudden family tragedy threw Salzman’s life into chaos.

Suddenly he was overwhelmed by terrifying panic attacks and began to search for meaning when his life no longer made sense. A lover of Eastern spiritualism and martial arts, Salzman tried but failed to embrace the Taoist notion of emptiness but nothing seemed to take away the depression and despair. In an unlikely moment sitting quietly in solitude with his dog, Salzman had a cathartic mind cleansing experience that cleared away the debris of his existential confusion.

The account of his crises and his epiphany from a most unexpected source is contained in “The Man in the Empty Boat,” an ebook and paperback which is the author’s first work since 2003. The author is best known for his 1986 memoir Iron & Silk, which describes his experiences living in China as an English teacher in the early 1980s. Salzman wrote the screenplay and starred as himself in the film.

Guest:

Mark Salzman, author of “The Man in the Empty Boat” (Open Road Media)

Salzman has been added to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles's ALOUD series on Thursday March 22, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. The event will take place in the Mark Taper Auditorium. For reservations, click here.


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