Hi! I’m Janis Harper — author, musician, actor. Here you’ll find my books and music and a few other things. If you’d like to visit my site for my private practice in expressive arts therapy, please go to rediscovery.me (currently in hiatus). Thanks for visiting!
Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story
My philosophical-spiritual novel, Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story, is traditionally published by Sacred Stories and available in online bookstores worldwide, in paperback and ebook, or by request at your local bookstore. For more purchasing info, scroll down or go to Contact page.
We are always seeking ourselves.
An eastern mystic, a western psychic, and a broken man who falls in love with them both at a holy, magnetic mountain. More than an unusual love story, Jonas and the Mountain is a quest for the deepest truth, an excursion into the nature of reality.
Jonas has been living a half-life since he lost his marriage, his college teaching position, and his best friend all at once. In his darkest moment, he hears a voice in his head, and strange poems start to come to him. Curious and open to exploration, he joins a friend who is traveling to Mt. Arunachala in South India. There Jonas meets the guru D, who shows him a direct path to enlightenment, and Anamika, an oddly familiar woman who explains the voice and poems and reveals yet another reality of multiple dimensions and partner selves. Jonas seeks to reconcile D’s and Anamika’s philosophies to find what is true with a capital “T,” as he struggles to resolve the pain in his past and the surprising ways it appears in his present.
This is a journey into the heart of it all.
What Readers are Saying
“Just devoured the whole thing over two days and loved every page. Highly recommended!”
“Totally loved the book! Should be required reading for anyone incarnating on Earth!”
“A brilliant read that fed my understanding of myself and the world.”
“A riveting, compelling story that will take you on a journey of self expansion and growth. It’s something special. I noticed different things with each reading.”
“A beautifully written, remarkable tale, Jonas and the Mountain will resonate with people interested in India, philosophy, and big love stories.”
“The story and the wisdom it offers is masterfully done.”
“This novel certainly made me think differently. It lifted me up and out of myself and opened up a new world of possibilities, leaving me feeling much more optimistic about today and the future.”
“Jonas and the Mountain is both accessible and profound. This is a book for spiritual seekers as well as readers who just want to tuck in to a good story, well told. The metaphysical ideas presented are compelling, and resonate as true . . . . These ideas are cleverly woven through a romantic tale of three characters, their evolving relationship to each other, and to a mystical place. A great read!”
“I am relishing the time I spend with Jonas. This is a beautiful and enlightening / enlightened book.”
Not too much surprises me these days, but this book did, in the best possible way. Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story is one of the most original and compelling books I have read in many years. As the subtitle suggests, this is a story about ideas and the love of ideas – a plunge into the deep pool of questions like “Who Am I?” and “What Is Truth?” [. . .] Readers who enjoy lively writing, a well-drawn plot and characters, and a fascinating dance of ideas will find this book entrancing. — Margaret Miller, The BC Review (formerly Ormsby Review) (Find full review here: https://thebcreview.ca/2022/08/17/1544-miller-harper-jonas/?fbclid=IwAR3zPIuAg6NI2UFVFmCEt46L9ep9YNGSGGzSZT_Qs4yXiAecXRWSk44j7Ws)
An enchanting odyssey into longing and love—for one’s beloved teacher, one’s soul mate, and ultimately, one’s Self. Accompany Jonas as he climbs his spiritual summit and inspires you to do the same. — Gina Mazza, author of Everything Matters, Nothing Matters
Jonas and the Mountain is a deeply reassuring book. In clear, often crystalline prose, Janis Harper chronicles the lives of both seeker and guru. As a character observes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” If you are ready, this is the novel for you. — Grant Buday, author of Orphans of Empire and other books and novels
Author Janis Harper has written a captivating and informative work in Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking spiritual knowledge and experiences. — Deborah Lloyd, Readers’ Favorite*
A poignant tale about self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment, Jonas and the Mountain is an introspective study of the concept of existence that makes you question the nature of reality and your place in this universe. . . . [It] is one of the most unique books I’ve read this year. If you’re in the mood for some philosophical musings, I highly recommend it. — Pikasho Deka, Readers’ Favorite*
This is a lovely book. It’s part “girl-meets-boy” romance and part satsang and spiritual wisdom. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed—and felt inspired by—encountering all the marvelous questions in this book. It was a good read for the story, and an even better read for the spiritual stimulation. — Toby Johnson, author of Finding Your Own True Myth: What I Learned from Joseph Campbell, and other books and novels. (Find full review here: https://tobyjohnson.com/review-harper-jonas-and-the-mountain.html)
Jonas and the Mountain is classified as a novel. And as such, it is intriguing, exciting, compelling, and profound. The characters are strong, the story line is exemplary, and the ending is decidedly surprising, as a good ending should be. But of special interest to this reader is the mystical dynamic of the characters and story, the journey into the astonishing realm of realities the author, Janis Harper, leads us on. . . . In every chapter we feel as if the finest teacher sits before us, answering all those questions we hold deep within . . . But the author does not preach at us, nor do the characters who would be such teachers in the storyline. We are in sacred India at the base of a holy mountain, searching, learning, asking question after question even as the plot carries us forward. Jonas and the Mountain is the perfect blend of truth interwoven with story. It could not be better, in this reviewer’s opinion.
— Rita Reynolds, La Joie magazine (Winter 2022). (Find full review posted on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1945026804/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_imm_awdb_B7CYPEVPCMBQ947Y5F4P and in the print magazine.)
*For full reviews, including some customer reviews, find a limited compilation here:
A Message For You
I hope Jonas and the Mountain will become a companion to you, one you can turn to again and again to help you answer the big questions or show you how you can answer them yourself. I hope it will help you acquire new ideas and ways of looking at life, as well as new questions. I hope your world will widen a little, become imbued with magic and miracle, and open up to what seemed impossible. Finally, dear reader, I hope you love reading Jonas and the Mountain as much as I loved writing it.
Author Reading from “Jonas and the Mountain”
“Jonas and the Mountain Journeys” Podcast
Join host and author Janis Harper in her podcast series, “Jonas and the Mountain Journeys,” as she reads eight ten-minute excerpts from her visionary novel, Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story.
In Segment 1, “Meet the Characters,” you’ll meet the three main characters of the novel in three podcast episodes. Janis Harper will be reading excerpts from her book to introduce Jonas, the psychic teacher Anamika, and the guru D to you.
In Segment 2, “Press Pause with Anamika,” you’ll join the psychic teacher Anamika as she offers you ways to engage with your own body’s healing, your past lives, your relationships, and other intriguing areas of self-exploration, in five podcast episodes. In this segment, Janis Harper reads excerpts from her novel in the voice of the psychic teacher Anamika, from the chapters where she is giving her teachings and offering expressive arts activities to her students as a way to bring her teachings home. These passages have been adapted so that they stand alone as self-exploration podcasts, and you’re invited to participate in the activities.
Press pause in your day, in your life, and listen in to yourself.
There are worlds waiting to be discovered.
For a sample, here’s the first episode, “Meet Jonas.” The others can be accessed by the link above (click on the image for each episode on the page) or found on YouTube.
Interviews with me about “Jonas and the Mountain”
Find interviews I’ve given about “Jonas” and all sorts of interesting discussions about the ideas in the book at Jonas’s special Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/metaphysical.novel/ Or find the YouTube-available ones on Janis Harper Videos on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/JanisHarper
How to Purchase “Jonas and the Mountain”
Available in online bookstores worldwide, in paperback and ebook, or by request at your local bookstore. Because the publisher is American, ordering it through a bookstore in Canada can be pricey, except for Indigo (Chapters) and other big stores. In Vancouver BC, find signed copies at the indie stores People’s Co-op Books and Banyen Books, as well as Indigo on Robson; in Nanaimo, at Literacy Central’s Well Read Books, Windowseat Books, Aura Arcana, and Chapters. If you have any questions about how to purchase it, please contact me! I’d also be happy to mail you a signed copy.
Emails From India: Women Write Home
India fascinates many people. But why are women especially drawn there? Twenty-seven women writers —from Canada, the US and the UK—share their experiences in thirty-seven emails, and so provide some answers to this question. Poignant, humorous, outrageous and astute, these stories come from the big cities and remote villages, the beaches and ashrams, the trains and buses. They speak to the mysterious relationship that women and India seem to share, as well as to themes common to all India travellers: meeting the challenges of getting from here to there, adapting to the many faces of the unforeseen, and learning the art of waiting. And then there’s the food, the smells, the clothes; the poverty, the distinct gender roles and attitudes, the ubiquitous con artists; and the exuberant children, the spirituality, the discovery that all is not what it seems. These voices inspire nostalgia in those who have already taken this journey, and dreams of India in those who haven’t. Yet.
Janis Harper, Anthology, Seraphim Editions 2013
Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness and Recovery
My body began breaking down a few years ago, not long after I entered my forties, and I found myself in the hospital, having to surrender my body to strangers. I’ve always been proudly independent, and there I was, suddenly vulnerable, at the mercy of surgeons and nurses and confronting my mortality. I never admitted that I was scared. But I was. And I might have felt less afraid and isolated if I’d known that other people had similar experiences, shared some of the same kinds of fears. I needed to hear their stories. I needed a book like this one.
Here are very personal, very true stories written by people who have experienced various kinds of body breakdowns; they are about people discovering they’re vulnerable as they age and the different ways they come to terms with that. Here are stories about interactions with the medical world, about living with pain both chronic and temporary, and about what it means to be sick or healthy or facing death. They are also about how people who have physically suffered learn to find words for, and thus form, the new worlds they find themselves in.
My hospital visit culminated in the removal of my entire large colon; then, a few years later, my gall bladder had to go. My digestive system was being dismantled, organ by organ. But I couldn’t talk about it—there were no words for it; it was too much, too on the brink of life and death. I had ceased to be myself. And if I wasn’t myself, how could I talk to other people?Our bodies are our first means of expression, and they shape how we interact with the world—how we see the world, and how it sees us. When we’re young, we’re invincible: The world is ours, we can do anything. As we age, our bodies begin to tell us that we have limitations. Sometimes the world shrinks to just the body, as it demands attention from us. We learn, sometimes suddenly and often painfully, that without the body, there’s no world. The body breakdown is thus a breaking down of order in the world, of familiar structures of perception. When the body fails, everything falls apart.
Those of us who have experienced body breakdowns eventually learn how to build our own narratives, ways to explain what happened to us. We tell our stories and retell them because we need to: The telling helps us recover from our illness by ascribing order and coherence—that is, “reality”—to an otherwise unreal experience. It helps us recover the world. We also tell our stories because we find out that others really do want to hear them: This is what happened to me; what happened to you? We want to know, not only because we might get some useful information, not just for pragmatic reasons, but because we can relate—that’s all. We all have one. The body is the ultimate common denominator. [. . .]
This book attempts to make the private public, to take the awkward, humbling, and sometimes terrifying out of the claustrophobic hospital ward, the hushed doctor’s office, the darkened bedroom, and into the sunlight and fresh air. Always reflective, sometimes funny, occasionally disturbing—and whether about a sprained knee, a wrong diagnosis, or multiple sclerosis—these stories remind us that everything can change in a moment. And that we’re all in these aging bodies together.
Janis Harper, Anthology, Anvil Press 2007
Find some of my writing in journals and magazines online, like this literary podcast read by me in the UK’s esteemed Litro magazine!
Or click on PDF on this page in Canada’s Tessera journal archives to read “What Happened.”
All of my books may be purchased from any bookstore, both online and on the street.
I’d love it if you’d post a review on Amazon, or wherever you like, and please follow me on social media!