The Far Himalaya

Phillip Ernest

September 2019

Young and homeless on the streets of Toronto, Benjamin Doheney is sustained by an unusual sources of strength: his devotion to Sanskrit, the ancient literary language of India. Together with Aditi, a student of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto, he dreams of a future with her in India, a land in which she has her own troubled history. Before they can move on, they must extricate her from the clutches of her twisted and malevolent PhD supervisor. When a murder on campus threatens to draw the police’s attention to Ben and his friends, events spiral out of control, drawing them all towards a possibly bloody culmination in which the couple’s hopes for a distant future peace may not survive.



Born in 1970, Phillip Ernest grew up in Northern Ontario. Fleeing home at the age of fifteen, he lived on Toronto’s skid row until he was twenty-eight. He learned Sanskrit from the book Teach Yourself Sanskrit, and later earned a BA in South Asian Studies from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Sanskrit from Cambridge University, with a dissertation on the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Marrying a woman from Pune, India, in 2006, he lived in that city until 2016, working first in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, then as a writer and editor at Dilip Oak Academy. His first novel, The Vetala, was published in 2018, and he lives with his wife in Bengaluru, India.

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