Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu collaborate on book

Shakespeare had it that “joy’s soul lies in the doing”, Mark Twain that “to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with”. Now two unlikely literary collaborators, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, are set to further explore the topic of joy in a joint work which is the talk of this week’s London Book Fair.

The two Nobel peace laureates will meet in Dharamsala, India, later this month, where for five days, as well as marking the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, they will spend time “in deep dialogue and playful laughter as they share their experience of how to find joy in the face of life’s challenges”, said publisher Hutchinson.

It acquired the pair’s collaborative The Book of Joy in what the Bookseller described as a “very spirited” 12-way auction.

Their discussion will form the basis of the text, with the pair – who call each other “spiritual brother” – also inviting members of the public to ask the questions about joy and happiness they most want answered on the authors’ Facebook pages. The most popular will be addressed during the meetings this April.

“The ultimate source of happiness is within us,” said the Dalai Lama in an announcement about the deal. “Not money, not power, not status, which fail to bring inner peace. Outward attainment will not bring real inner joyfulness. We must look inside.”

Archbishop Tutu added: “Sometimes life can be challenging and we can feel lost. But the seeds of joy are born inside each of us. I invite you to join His Holiness and I in creating more joy in our world.”

Subtitled “Finding enduring happiness in an uncertain world”, the book, said Hutchinson, is “a unique collaboration that reflects the extraordinary friendship of the authors”.

It will be co-written by Doug Abrams, who has worked with Tutu on previous books, and who will conduct the interviews.

“While happiness is often seen as being dependent on external circumstances, His Holiness and the Archbishop believe that joy comes from an internal state of being. They will share how joy animates our lives and leads ultimately to a life of greater meaning and purpose and greater love and contribution,” said Abrams.

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