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The ecstatic love poems of Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi mystic born more than eight centuries ago, are beloved by millions of readers in America as well as around the world. Rumi has been compared to Shakespeare for his outpouring of creativity and St. Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom. Yet his life has long remained the stuff of legend rather than intimate knowledge.
In this breakthrough biography, Brad Gooch brilliantly brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, while at the same time vividly coloring in his time and place-a world as rife with conflict as our own. The map of Rumi’s life stretched over 2,500 miles. Gooch retraces this epic journey from Central Asia, where Rumi was born in 1207, traveling with his family-who were displaced by Mongol terror-as they settle in Konya, Turkey. Pivotal was the disruptive appearance of Shams of Tabriz, who, in the 1240s, taught Rumi to whirl and transformed him from a respectable Muslim preacher into a poet and mystic. Their vital connection as teacher and pupil, friend and beloved, is one of the world’s greatest spiritual love stories. When Shams disappeared, Rumi coped with the pain of separation by composing joyous poems of reunion, both human and divine.
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