Set during the Christmas of 1943, nine-year-old Andy Catlett sets off to visit his grandparents in Port William by bus, by himself for the first time. For Andy this is a rite of passage, his first step into manhood.
Essential essays are included in this volume from Wendell Berry's writings on agrarianism, agriculture, and community.
Introduction by Michael Pollan Long Before Organic Produce was Available at Your Local Supermarket. Wendell Berry was farming and writing with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, he has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of Berry's influence, Michael Pollan offers an introduction to this new collection. "To read the essays in this sparkling anthology," he writes, "many of them dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, is to realize just how little of what we are saying and hearing today Wendell Berry hasn't already said, bracingly, before. " This compendium joins today's bestsellers as essential reading for all who care about what they eat.
"Citizenship Papers" collects 21 new essays, from celebrations of exemplary lives to critiques of American life, including "A Citizen's Response to the New National Security Strategy" -- a ringing call of caution to a nation standing on the brink of global catastrophe.
Berry's second collection of essays was first published in 1972, and contained eight essays, including the seminal "Think Little," which was printed in "The Last Whole Earth Catalogue" and reprinted around the globe, and the splendid centerpiece, "Discipline and Hope," an insightful and articulate essay of instruction and caution.
In this gathering of work from the past fifteen years, Wendell Berry offers poems of remembrance and regeneration, celebrating life's complexities from the domestic to the eternal.
"Berry richly evokes Port William's [Kentucky] farmlands and hamlets, and his characters are fiercely individual, yet mutually protective in everything they do. . . . His sentences are exquisitely constructed, suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world. "--New York Times Book Review.
In the twenty-four essays of this collection, Wendell Berry stresses the carefully modulated harmonics of indivisibility in culture and agriculture, the interdependence, the wholeness, the oneness, of man, animals, the land, the weather, and the family. To touch one, he shows, is to tamper with them all. Here he continues issues first raised in "The Unsettling of America"; the problems addressed there are still with us and the solutions no nearer to hand, Mr. Berry writes of his journeys to the highlands of Peru, the deserts of southern Arizona, and the Amish country to study traditional agricultural practices. He writes of homesteading, tools and their uses, horses and tractors, family work, land reclamation, diversified land use. In the title essay Mr. Berry draws parallels between the Christian notion of stewardship and the Buddhist doctrine of "right livelihood." He develops the compelling argument that the "gift" of good land has strings attached: the recipient has it only as long as he practices responsible stewardship.
For five decades Wendell Berry has been a poet of great clarity and purpose. He is a writer whose imagination is grounded by the pastures of his chosen place and the rooms and porches of his family's home.
In the latest installment in Wendell Berry's long story about the citizens of Port William, Hannah Coulter remembers. Her first husband, Virgil, was declared "missing in action" shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, and after she married Nathan Coulter about all he could tell Hannah about the Battle of Okinawa was "Ignorant boys, killing each other." The community was stunned and diminished by the war, with some of its sons lost forever and others returning home determined to carry on. Now, in her late seventies, twice-widowed and alone, Hannah sorts through her memories: of her childhood, of young love and loss, of raising children and the changing seasons. She turns her plain gaze to a community facing its long deterioration, where, she says, "We feel the old fabric torn, pulling apart, and we know how much we have loved each other." Hannah offers her summation: her stories and her gratitude, for the membership in Port William, and for her whole life, a part of the great continuum of love and memory, grief and strength.
Lectures by distinguished writer, environmentalist and sustainable agriculturalist Berry (U. of Kentucky) on the life and work of Harlan Hubbard, an earlier Kentucky original--writer, painter, and advocate (and prototype) of rural self-sufficiency.
"My work has been motivated," Wendell Berry has written, "by a desire to make myself responsibly at home in this world and in my native and chosen place." In "Home Economics," Mr. Berry explores this process and continues to discuss what it means to make oneself "responsibly at home." His title reminds us that the very root of economics is stewardship, household management. To paraphrase Confucius, a healthy planet is made up of healthy nations that are simply healthy communities sharing common ground, and communities are gatherings of households. A measure of the health of the planet is economics--the health of its households. Any process of destruction or healing must begin at home. Mr. Berry speaks of the necessary coherence of the "Great Economy," as he argues for clarity in our lives, our conceptions, and our communications. To live is not to pass time, but to spend time. Whether as critic or as champion, Wendell Berry offers careful insights into our personal and national situation in a prose that is ringing and clear.
The book is on Wendell Berry's greatest speech during The Jefferson Lecture. It includes a small handful of other recent essays and a wonderful conversation between Mr. Berry, his wife Tanya Berry, and the head of the National Endowment of the Humanities Jim Leech, which took place just after the award was announced. The result offers a wonderful continuation of the long conversation Berry has had with his readers over many years and as well as a fine introduction to his life and work.
Jayber Crow: The Life Story of Jayber Crow, Barber, of the Port William Membership, as Written By Himself: A Novelby Wendell Berry
For thirty-nine years Wendell Berry has brought us stories from the fictional town of Port William, Kentucky. The latest, "Jayber Crow", is the story of a man's love for his community and his abiding and unrequited love for Mattie Chatham, "a good woman who had too early made one bad mistake". Sent to an orphanage at the age of ten, Jayber grows up knowing of loneliness and want, and learns how to be a watchful observer of human goodness and frailty. With the flood of 1937 he returns to his native Port William to become the town's barber. Slowly, patiently, the observer becomes participant. "This is a book about Heaven", writes Jayber, "but I must say too that it has been a close call. For I have wondered sometimes if it would not finally turn out to be a book about Hell -- where we fail to love one another, where we hate and destroy one another for reasons abundantly provided or for righteousness' sake or for pleasure, where we destroy the things we need the most, where we see no hope and have no faith... where we must lose everything to know what we have had". Sounding themes of love and loss, despair and deepest joy, Berry's clear-sighted artistry in depicting the Port William membership will not soon be forgotten.
Actually consisting of a set of wide-ranging, sentimental essays in which farmer, poet and writer Wendell Berry argues for greater dialogue between the arts and sciences, attempts to show that E.O. Wilson's "Consilience" is no more than the subjugation of religion and art by science, and advocates a new "emancipation proclamation" to free people from enslavement by corporations.
First published in 1969 and out of print for more than 25 years, this was Berry's first collection of essays, the inaugural work introducing many of the central issues that have occupied him over the course of his career.
A retired farmer's life of 92 years is recounted as he remembers his life and the Civil War.
When young Nathan loses his grandfather, Berry guides readers through the process of Nathan's grief, endearing the reader to the simple humanity through which Nathan views the world. Echoing Berry's own strongly held beliefs, Nathan tells us that his grandfather's life "couldn't be divided from the days he'd spent at work in his fields." Berry has long been compared to Faulkner for his ability to erect entire communities in his fiction, and his heart and soul have always lived in Port William, Kentucky. In this eloquent novel about duty, community, and a sweeping love of the land, Berry gives readers a classic book that takes them to that storied place.
Call it "Zen and the Art of Farming" or a "Little Green Book," Masanobu Fukuoka's manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book "is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture." Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature's own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called "do-nothing" technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort.Whether you're a guerrilla gardener or a kitchen gardener, dedicated to slow food or simply looking to live a healthier life, you will find something here--you may even be moved to start a revolution of your own.
The revised 1983 edition of Berry's novel about Port William, Kentucky, the farm lands and forests that surround it, and the river that runs nearby, is back in print, resonating with variations played on themes of change; looping transitions from war into peace, winter into spring, and lost into found.
"Remembering" takes place in a single day in 1976. Andy Catlett, at the bottom of a deep dark depression since losing his hand in a farming accident, is alone in San Francisco, and takes a long walk through the walking street of the city. By the end of the day, when he has flown home to Port William, Kentucky, Andy is on his way to becoming whole again.
This is a collection of poems on the lines of themes of earth, marriage, family; work and death weave the 100 poems of this collection together.
In these six essays, award-winning author Wendell Berry considers the degeneration of language that is manifest throughout our culture, from poetry to politics, from conversation to advertising, and he shows how the ever widening cleft between words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals from their communities and of their communities from the land.
Drawn from three collections of stories and including new work, "That Distant Land" chronicles nearly a century of the Port William community.
Years of writing have won Wendell Berry the affection of a broad public. He is beloved for his quiet, steady explorations of nature, his emphasis on finding good work to do in the world, and his faith in the solace of family, memory, and community.
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