These are the true-life adventures of a woman who ranges over four continents, endeavoring to go beyond the limits of ordinary life. Recovering from an accident, she goes to Glastonbury, where she finds energy portrayed in ancient earthworks as a snake coiled in concentric circles around a hill. To walk this spiral is called threading the maze, which means both to ascend and to go deep within. This becomes a guiding emblem of her pilgrimages to sites of female spiritual and temporal power, from the Irish countryside to the Amazon jungle to the high mountain cultures of Nepal.
"Fascinating people, places, and landscapes come alive at the touch of Vega's observant eye and open heart. Tracking the Serpent takes the reader on an exciting journey, as cultural exploration ignites dramatic self-discovery and spiritual insight." —Miranda Shaw
"With poetry one line, in prose a steady mind. Vega learned from poetry how to use details, with prose, to keep track of time. I really respect this book." —Gregory Corso
"In these remarkable accounts, full of color and suspense, Vega carries us along on the strength of her own urgency to places few of us will ever see for ourselves. An informative guide and a brave one, she never ceases to question her own assumptions. For the armchair traveler, these are splendid excursions." —Hettie Jones
Janine Pommy Vega, Beat Generation writer, performer, and musician, is the author of twelve books. For many years she has worked with Poets in the Schools, and she is a member of PEN's Prison Writing Committee.