ReviewsDr. Sasson has once again gifted us with a tale that brings early Buddhist women to life. Animating her well-researched evidence with an evocative imagination and vivid prose, she helps us feel their suffering, understand their diverse motivations, respect their wise insights, and be inspired by their resilient strength.
Paula K. R. Arai, Ph.D., author of Women Living Zen
Vanessa Sasson's absorbing story about the founding of the Buddhist nuns' order is a bold blend of elements that are often kept apart: scholarship on Buddhist narrative traditions, familiarity with the concerns of contemporary female monastic communities, a sharp feminist sensibility, and vivid storytelling. While she does not shrink from asking some hard questions about gender inequity in Buddhism, Sasson's narrative brims with tenderness for her characters and delight in a tradition and a history that she clearly cherishes and respects. Sasson brings to life scenes and characters and conversations with humor and humanity. I can't wait to read this book with my students.
Amy Langenberg, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Eckerd College
The Gathering for the first time portrays the lives of the early Buddhist women in such a way that they come alive. It is a novel, first of its kind, to break through the barrier of male voices, and it is told vividly in such a moving and engaging way. The reader will not be able to stop once they start reading, but will have to continue to the very last page, and yet still they will want more.
Bhikkhuni Dhammananda (Chatsumarn Kabilisingh)