Mullane Literary Associates

The Buddha’s Wife by Janet Surrey and Samuel Shem

The Buddha’ Janet Surrey and Samuel Shem

Main Selection of the One Spirit Book Club

Praise for The Buddha’s Wife by Janet Surrey and Samuel Shem

A beautiful imagination of the feminine and relational side of the Buddha’s tale.

Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart

Timeless and timely, perfect for our disenchanted era—will prove useful and enlightening to those who seek to find freedom within relationships. Here is a whole fresh take on the well-tilled field of the historical Buddha’s life and teaching.”

Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within

In this creative, groundbreaking rendering, the relational ‘Yin’ of Buddhism, so often absent, is brought beautifully to life. The teachings are clear, vibrant, relevant. They guide us in loving more fully, and are the very grounds for healing our earth and bringing peace to our world.”

Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

A brave and life-changing bookThe Buddha’s Wife speaks to perhaps the greatest challenge of our time, our false sense of separateness. For all people of all faiths, The Buddha’s Wife shifts perception and thus opens us to possibility. It touched me deeply.”

Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet

A gripping telling of an amazing 2,500-year-old story....A great read and a practical guide for anyone who wants to ‘wake up’ and walk a path of healing with others.”

Martin Sheen

An imaginative tour de force…with stunning relevance for our lives today….Along with the engrossing story, the authors offer reflections and guidance on mindful practices that help us wake up to and through our relationships.”

Joanna Macy, author of Coming Back to Life

A remarkable book, both as a work of literature and a work of spiritual teaching…. offers hope that we might learn to live together in a new way, founded in an understanding of our shared struggle for happiness and freedom.”

Kevin Griffin, author of One Breath at a Time and Recovering Joy

“Though I’m not a Buddhist, I sense that this account deepens and adds beautiful shadings to the story of the Buddha’s life. I know that in its focus on relationship, it’s a powerful antidote to the hyperindividualism that marks our world.”

Bill McKibben, author of The Comforting Whirlwind

“Smoothly written and with compelling applications of social and psychological theories as well as Buddhist tradition, this can serve both spiritual practitioners and secular readers seeking insight on strengthening themselves and their relationships.”


Carries us beyond any one religious tradition to launch us gently into streams of a universal wisdom….A beautifully written book for all who know, at least intuitively, that our liberation—as people and as a planet—is rooted in our shared commitments to more radically relational and mutual ways of being.”

The Rev Carter Heyward, PhD, professor emerita of Theology, Episcopal Divinity School

A healing vision….A brilliant story, one of a heart shattered by loss, a community that doesn’t shy away from suffering, and a path to freedom that is radical yet ordinary, humble yet profound.”

Christopher Germer, PhD, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School,
and author of
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

A riveting tale that will move your heart and shift your focus….this timeless and beautiful narrative shows us what deep attunement to ourselves and to one another looks like, as well as the means by which we can work to manifest it.”

Mary Watkins, author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation

A visionary work of profound insight, imagination, compassion, and scholarship. In telling the lost story of Yasodhara, Surrey and Shem give us a lamp for our troubled times, illuminating new paths and practices for all relationships.”

Susan M. Pollak, coauthor of Sitting Together

“After narrating the tale of Yasodhara’s survival and spiritual growth in the company of others, Surrey and Shem….investigate the power of connection to heal individuals and, perhaps, a suffering world.”

Publishers Weekly

About the Authors

Janet Surrey, PhD, is a Buddhist dharma leader, author, and clinical psychologist internationally known for her work on relational theories of women’s psychological development, diversity, mothering, adoption, and substance abuse. Among other venues, Surrey has taught at Harvard Medical School and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Samuel Shem (a.k.a. Stephen Bergman), MD, is the author of several books of fiction including the bestseller The House of God. A Rhodes Scholar, he was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for three decades and founded the Bill W. and Dr. Bob Project in the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School. The authors divide their time between Boston and Tierra Tranquila, Costa Rica.