Wendell Berry: Life and Work

Wendell Berry: Life and Work

by Jason Peters
     
 

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Essayist, social critic, poet, "mad farmer," novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With his unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but

Overview

Essayist, social critic, poet, "mad farmer," novelist, teacher, and prophet: Wendell Berry has been called many things, but the broad sweep of his contemporary relevance and influence defies facile labels. With his unique perspective and far-reaching vision, Berry poses complex questions about humankind and our relationship to the land and offers simple but profound solutions. Berry's essays, novels, and poems give voice to a provocative but consistent philosophy, one that extends far beyond its agrarian core to include elements of sociology, the natural sciences, politics, religion, philosophy, linguistics, agriculture, and other seemingly incompatible fields of study. Wendell Berry: Life and Work examines this wise and original thinker, appraising his written work and exploring his influence as an activist and artist. Jason Peters has assembled a broad variety of writers including Hayden Carruth, Sven Birkerts, Barbara Kingsolver, Stanley Hauerwas, Donald Hall, Ed McClanahan, Bill McKibben, Scott Russell Sanders, Norman Wirzba, Wes Jackson, and Eric T. Freyfogle. Each contributor examines an aspect of Berry's varied yet cohesive body of work. Also included are highly personal glimpses of Wendell Berry: his career, academic influence, and unconventional lifestyle. These deft sketches of Berry show the purity of his agrarian lifestyle and demonstrate that there is nothing simple about the life to which he has devoted himself. He embraces a life that sustains him not by easy purchase and haste but by physical labor and patience, not by mindless acquiescence to a centralized economy but by careful attention to local ways and wisdom. Wendell Berry: Life and Work combines biographical sketches, personal accounts, literary criticism, and social commentary. Together, the contributors illuminate Berry as he is: a complex man of place and community with an astonishing depth of domestic, intellectual, filial, and fraternal attributes. The result is a rich portrait of one of America's most profound and honest thinkers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Shuman and Owens... presents articles based on how the work of author Wendell Berry can be interpreted in the context of living a true Christian life." —Book News Inc." —

"[The contributors] discuss [Berry's] placing community and interaction for the common good over the centralization of the work and life of the world." —Mary Popham, Courier-Journal.com" —

"A broad collection of writers examines the famous Kentucky agrarian writer's work through a series of essays." —Lexington Herald-Leader" —

"This collection is a must-read, must-own….It is filled with the richness of writings from the essayists who delineate not only Wendell Berry's great works, but give us a glimpse of the man, one of Kentucky's greatest wonders." —Mary Popham, Louisville Courier-Journal" —

"This is a remarkable collection for reference and reflection."—Mary Popham, The Courier Journal" —

"This collection of essays put together by editor Jason Petes are written by 27 scholars, activists, and fellow authors that 'unite considreations on Berry's thinking, friendships, and labor.'...[It] is perhaps as good a glance inside the soul of Wendell Berry as one could hope for." — Modern Mountain Magazine" —

"Not only reminds us why it is such a pleasure to read Wendell Berry's work...but it further compels readers to take seriously the implications of his work for their own lives and in their own communities. In doing so, it serves to extend the already considerable reach of Berry's legacy."—Journal of Agriculture and Human Values" —

"In many ways, this collection reads like a tribute to Wendell Berry and through this tribute the authors lead the reader into Berry's thoughts on community, responsibility, and fidelity and these qualities are the yardsticks of happiness. One of the points driven home by this collection is that one should not consider the writingsof Wendell Berry without also considering his life, and thus the title of this collection is appropriate. — Jacob Jones, University of Florida" — Jacob Jones

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813192574
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Series:
Culture of the Land Series
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,366,876
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Jason Peters is Dorothy J. Parkander Chair in Literature, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

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