The Chinese “I Ching,” or “Book of Changes,” is one of the oldest and strangest of all books, a masterpiece of world literature, a divination manual, and a magnet for the deranged and the obsessive. In “Sixty-Four Chance Pieces,” novelist and philosopher Will Buckingham puts the “I Ching” to work, using it to weave together 64 stories of chance and change, each flowing from one of the “I Ching” s 64 hexagrams. Moving between myth, fable, and travel writing, the collection offers an attempt to make sense of the maddening, changeable book that is the “I Ching,” with tales of inventors and fox-spirits, ancient poets and nonexistent rulers, kleptomaniac pensioners and infernal bureaucrats. Like the “I Ching” itself, this new “Book of Changes” is a puzzle, a conundrum, and a journey of many transformations, where nothing is quite what it seems.”
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