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Lions Roar : September 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 57 This is the beginning of Hungry Ghosts, Susan Dunlap’s second book in her Darcy Lott mystery series. But now, with the release of No Footprints this August, Dunlap is up to number five. She’s also the author of three other mystery series, one suspense novel, and a collection of short stories, bringing her total number of published books to twenty-four. Of her books, the Darcy Lott series is most clearly about Buddhism. Yet, according to Dunlap, all of them have a Buddhist element. “They do, because I do,” she says. Buddhist fiction is a slippery fish to define. Some would say it’s composed solely of stories written by Buddhists and/or sto- ries that feature Buddhist characters. Others would expand the definition to include stories written by non-Buddhist authors about non-Buddhist characters, as long as the writing reflects a Buddhist sensibility in addressing themes such as suffering, compassion, and emptiness. The Buddhist canon becomes very large indeed, however, if we go with the more liberal defini- tion. Novelists—Buddhist and otherwise—are interested in the human condition. And since Buddhism rests on a foundation of PHOTOBYNEWELLDUNLAP Susan Dunlap is a founding board member of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to supporting women who write mysteries. Mystery, suspense, science fiction—ANDREA MILLER profiles three Buddhist-inspired novelists who make up stories to tell the truth about our world.