Searching for Yourself Is Selfish

"For these middle-class wives, theirs is an existential crisis borne out of over-high expectations and, frankly, emotional greed, consumerism of the heart." Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is the anti-guru's guru.

"[Elizabeth] Gilbert [author of Eat, Pray, Love] joins the long line of American women who feel they must (temporarily) leave the richest and most self-regarding nation on earth in order to find their bodies and the meaning of life. It started back in the Sixties when stars went off to be hugged and consoled by dodgy men in saffron robes. Later, devotees of foreign enlightenment included Goldie Hawn and drug-addled pop singers. Some of the best songs in Joni Mitchell's album Blue tell that story of home and away. British celebs have gone for this therapy, too—ever since the Beatles got themselves their own guru. Some good comes of these earnestly undertaken journeys."

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