This bold and beautifully written novel follows the young protagonist on a life-changing rite of passage. At age 21, Jason is unfulfilled, lacking direction, and coming off a bitter breakup. He resolves to make a fresh start, and a serendipitous encounter with a Native American elder named Chip introduces him to the notion of the Manitou, a traditional initiation of solitude in the wilderness.
Jason embarks on a solo expedition into the Rockies and finds himself trapped in a cave for days. In the terror of that confinement, the essence of who he believed himself to be is shattered. After a desperate attempt at escape and a fall off a snowy bluff he comes to consciousness on the floor of a hut. He is greeted by the man who saved his life, Charles. Jason begins to heal, and through conversations with this Good Samaritan finds new answers for the most human of questions: How does one lead a fulfilling life?
Andrew C. Shurtleff
Andrew C. Shurtleff is a doctoral student and writing consultant at Columbia University where he studies the intersection of philosophy, technology, and education. He has worked with urban youth through programs at Princeton University and Columbia University, and holds degrees in psychology (B.A., Clark University), communication (M.S., Clark University), and interdisciplinary studies in philosophy and communication (M.Ed., Columbia University). His current work is motivated by experiences as an undergraduate at Clark University, specifically semesters abroad in Australia and Scotland, where he studied aboriginal culture, religion, and politics.
As a writer he is interested in how thinking, feeling, and acting are shaped by technology and media and how these forces inform and shape one's sense of self. Leaning on Cedars is his first novel.