The First Book Written By A Woman To Lose Her Mother To The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Cult

May 11, 2021

From debut author Ronit plank, a “heartbreaking,” “stunning,” “wrenching” memoir of love and endurance!

(NEW YORK) Among the women of the New Age era that opted out of traditional family structures and adopted alternative lifestyles, some joined the headline-making, Oregon ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh where children weren’t welcome. Among these Rajneeshees was the mother of curly-haired, 6-year-old Ronit Plank, who began life in an Israeli kibbutz and endured the rest of her peripatetic childhood longing for the mother who twice abandoned her and her younger sister. 

If you watched Searching for Sheela on Netflix, or heard the song My Rajneesh by Sufjan Stevens, lost in the flowers, jangly guitars and “marketed enlightenment” were children like Ronit whose bonds with their mothers were broken like a string of mala beads. For Gen Xers and others who associate Mother’s Day with trauma, her memoir, When She Comes Back (Motina Books, May 11 2021, 416 pages, Hardcover, $25.99 US; ISBN 10:1684511720 English) is a generational reckoning and witness to the endurance of love.

Ronit Plank’s 2018 piece, I Can’t Shake the Guru Bhagwan was one of the most-read Rumpus posts of the year. 

Aspen Matis, bestselling author of Your Blue Is Not My Blue (Little A) calls Ronit’s memoir:

“A beautifully written and wrenching story of abandonment and resilience, When She Comes Back grabbed me by the heart.”

Erica Barnett, author of Quitter (Viking), says:

“Empathetic, richly detailed, and self-aware, When She Comes Back is a heartbreaking, hopeful story about loss, resilience, and growing up too soon.”

About the Author
Plank has written for The AtlanticThe Washington PostThe RumpusThe Iowa Review, and American Literary Review among others. This is her first book. Her short story collection Home Is A Made-Up Place won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and will be published in 2022.  Ronit also hosts the popular podcast And Then Everything Changed to highlight the lives of people who have survived hardship, trauma or pain and have made it their mission to help others find their way.

BMM Worldwide is a New York literary development house.  Clients include St. Martin’s Press, W. W. Norton & Co., agent/author Betsy Lerner and Stanford University historian Stephen J. Zipperstein. 


Motina Books, May 11, 2021 416 pages, Hardcover, $25.99 US

ISBN 10:1684511720 English

Video Link: 

Media Contact
Company Name: BMM Worldwide
Contact Person: Suzanne Balaban
Phone: 2127965895
City: New York
Country: United States

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