“The Holy Man” by Susan Trott

Susan Trott’s 1995 book is not a novel but a parable that happens to feature a rather modernized hermit figure (the “holy man”) who, like a classic starets, solves people’s problems by listening to them. And many of those wo make the pilgrimage to his hermitage solve their problems by coming to a realization after standing in the lengthy line of those who want to see Joe, the hermit. It is a short and not unpleasant book that uses the image of a hermit or holy man mainly as a hook, the simple message being that you can usually solve your own problems if you are honest with yourself. Brought to our attention by a friend of Hermitary.