"And how long is that going to take?"
"I don't know. As long as you live, perhaps."
"That could be a long time."
"I will tell you a further mystery," he said. "It may take longer."
Eventually, after the flood of 1937, Jayber becomes the barber of the small community of Port William, Kentucky. From behind that barber chair he lives out the questions that drove him from seminary and begins to accept the gifts of community that enclose his answers. The chair gives him a perfect perch from which to listen, to talk, and to see, as life spends itself all around. In this novel full of remarkable characters, he tells his story that becomes the story of his town and its transcendent membership.
"Few novelists treat both their characters and their readers with the kind of respect that Wendell Berry displays in this deeply moving account . . . The Memory of Old Jack is a slab of rich Americana." —The New York Times Book Review
From modern health care to the practice of forestry, from local focus to national resolve, Berry argues, there can never be a separation between global ecosystems and human communities—the two are intricately connected, and the health and survival of one depends upon the other.
Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Berry’s concern and vision for the future, for America and for the world.
In The New Collected Poems, Berry reprints the nearly two hundred pieces in Collected Poems, along with the poems from his most recent collections—Entries, Given, and Leavings—to create an expanded collection, showcasing the work of a man heralded by The Baltimore Sun as “a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau . . . a major poet of our time.”
Wendell Berry is the author of over forty works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and has been awarded numerous literary prizes, including the T.S. Eliot Award, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. While he began publishing work in the 1960s, Booklist has written that “Berry has become ever more prophetic,” clearly standing up to the test of time.
For this collection, Berry offers essays from over the last 25 years, alongside new essays about the recent economic collapse, including “Money Versus Goods” and “Faustian Economics,” treatises of great alarm and courage. He offers advice and perspective that should be heeded by all concerned as our society attempts to steer from its present chaos and recession to a future of hope and opportunity. With urgency and clarity, Berry asks us to look toward a true sustainable commonwealth, grounded in realistic Jeffersonian principles applied to our present day.
It feels as if the entire membership, all the Catletts, Burley Coulter, Elton Penn, the Rowanberrys, Laura Milby, the preacher’s wife, Kate Helen Branch, Andy’s dog, Mike, nearly everyone returns with a story or two, to fill in the gaps in this long tale. Those just now joining the Membership will be charmed. Those who’ve attended before will be enriched.
The story of the community of Port William is one of the great works in American literature. Published in the author’s 78th year, this collection, the tenth volume in the series, is the perfect occasion to celebrate his huge achievement.
"And so it’s all gone. A new time has come. Various ones of the old time keep faith and stop by to see me, Coulter and Wilma and a few others. But the one I wait to see is Althie. Seems like my whole life now is lived under the feeling of her hand touching me that day of the sale, and every day still.
I lie awake in the night, and I can see it all in my mind, th old place, the house, all the things I took care of so long. I thought I might miss it, but I don’t. The time has gone when I oculd do more than worry about it, and I declare it’s a load off my mind. But the thoughts, still, are a kind of company."
-- Beulah Gibbs
the world’s hot spots threaten to spread over the globe with the ferocity of a war of holy terror and desperation.
The planet’s environmental problems respect no national boundaries. From soil erosion and population displacement to climate change and failed energy policies, American governing classes are paid by corporations to pretend that debate is the only democratic necessity and that solutions are capable of withstanding endless delay. Late Capitalism goes about its business of finishing off the planet. And we citizens are left with a shell of what was once proudly described as The American Dream.
In this new collection of eleven essays, Berry confronts head-on the necessity of clear thinking and direct action. Never one to ignore the present challenge, he understands that only clearly stated questions support the understanding their answers require. For more than fifty years we’ve had no better spokesman and no more eloquent advocate for the planet, for our families, and for the future of our children and ourselves.
We have taken this opportunity to include 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.
This small book collects the sayings of Jesus, selected by Mr. Berry, who has contributed an essay of introduction. Here is a way of peace as described and directed by the greatest spiritual teacher in the West. This is a book of inspiration and prayerful compassion, and we may hope a ringing call to action at a time when our country and the world it once led stand at a dangerous crossroads.
Following the widely praised Given, this new collection offers a masterful blend of epigrams, elegies, lyrics, and letters, with the occasional short love poem. Alternately amused, outraged, and resigned, Berry’s welcome voice is the constant in this varied mix. The book concludes with a new sequence of Sabbath poems, works that have spawned from Berry’s Sunday morning walks of meditation and observation.
Berry’s themes are reflections of his life: friends, family, the farm, the nature around us as well as within. He speaks strongly for himself and sometimes for the lost heart of the country. As he has borne witness to the world for eight decades, what he offers us now in this new collection of poems is of incomparable value.
There are poems of spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, elegies and lyrics that include some of the most beautiful domestic poems in American literature, alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer, pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officials.
With the publication of this new complete edition, it is becoming increasingly clear that The Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s entire work. And these magnificent poems, taken as a whole, have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry.
Berry's work is one of devotion to family and community, to the earth and her creatures, to the memories of the past, and the hope of the future. His writing stands alongside the work of William Carlos Williams and Robert Frost as a rigorous American testament.
Snyder had thrown over all vestiges of Christianity in favor of becoming a devoted Buddhist and Zen practitioner, and had lived in Japan for a prolonged period to develop this practice. Berry’s discomfort with the Christianity of his native land caused him to become something of a renegade Christian, troubled by the church and organized religion, but grounded in its vocabulary and its narrative. Religion and spirituality seemed like a natural topic for the two men to discuss, and discuss they did. They exchanged more than 240 letters from 1973 to 2013, remarkable letters of insight and argument. The two bring out the best in each other, as they grapple with issues of faith and reason, discuss ideas of home and family, worry over the disintegration of community and commonwealth, and share the details of the lives they’ve chosen to live with their wives and children. Contemporary American culture is the landscape they reside on. Environmentalism, sustainability, global politics and American involvement, literature, poetry and progressive ideals, these two public intellectuals address issues as broad as are found in any exchange in literature.
No one can be unaffected by the complexity of their relationship, the subtlety of their arguments, and the grace of their friendship. This is a book for the ages.
There are those in America today who seem to feel we must audition for our citizenship, with "Patriot" offered as the badge for those found narrowly worthy. Let this book stand as Wendell Berry’s application, for he is one of those faithful, devoted critics envisioned by the Founding Fathers to be the life’s blood and very future of the nation they imagined. Adams, Jefferson and Madison would have found great clarity in his prose and great hope in his vision. And today’s readers will be moved and encouraged by his anger and his refusal to surrender in the face of desperate odds. Books get written for all sorts of reasons, and this book was written out of necessity.
Citizenship Papers collects nineteen 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.
The essays of Wendell Berry are an extended conversation about the life he values; sustainable agriculture, a connection to place, the miracle of life, and the interconnectedness of all things. The existence of this life is dependent on our devotion to preserving it, an emotional proximity to the land that is slipping away from us.
In six elegant, linked literary essays, 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 the words and their referents mirrors the increasing isolation of individuals and their communities from the land. With his confident and unwavering prose, Berry assesses how the gap between modern communities and nature grew so large, how we may bridge it, and the role language plays in facilitating both parts.
Standing by Words joins our new series, which celebrates the collected essays of Wendell Berry in beautiful, uniform editions.
The resulting volume of 21 poems includes dozens of the sketches, drawings and watercolors in what amounts to a visual meditation on the poem they work to illustrate and is simply staggering in both its beauty and its meaning to those of us who remain lovers of the book as physical object.
In the full-color Terrapin we have not only a volume of staggering beauty but a consummate example of the collaborative effort that is fine bookmaking, the perfect gift for children, grandchildren or anyone who remains a lover of the book as physical object.
Each of the thirty-five poems in this collection is concerned with this metaphor. The long sequence that is itself entitled "The Country of Marriage," perhaps the finest single work in the book, is a grave, moving, and beautifully wrought love poem. But the shorter lyrics have an equal grace and beauty—writing that contains the exhilarating lucidity of mountain spring water. And there are most notably, several more poems about the "Mad Farmer," who advises us here to 'every day do something that won't compute.'
Berry has here perfected a work that is immediately accessible but that becomes, as we read it again, always more satisfying, reverberant with manifold meanings.
Both men would go on to establish themselves as respected American poets, and here Berry sets forth his understanding of that evolution for Williams, who in the course of his local membership and service, became a poet indispensable to us all.
This new sequence for the following year is one of the richest yet. This group provides a virtual syllabus for all of Mr. Berry’s cultural and agricultural work in concentrated form. Many of these poems are drawn from the view from a small porch in the woods, a place of stillness and reflection, a vantage point “of the one/life of the forest composed/of uncountable lives in countless/years each life coherent itself within/ the coherence, the great composure,/of all.”
A new collection of Wendell Berry poems is always an occasion of joyful celebration and this one is especially so.
Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good people working “to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth.” Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.
But RawboneOCOs plan spins against him, and he soon finds himself at the Mexican-American border and in the hands of the Bureau of Investigation. He is offered a chance for immunity, but only if he agrees to proceed with his scheme to deliver the truck and its goods to the Mexican oil fields while under the command of Agent John Lourdes. Rawbone sees no other option and agrees to the deal?but he fails to recognize the true identity of Agent Lourdes, a man from deep within his past.
As they work to expose the criminal network at the core of the revolution, it is clear their journey into the tarred desert is a push toward a certain ruin, and the history lurking between the criminal and agent may seal their fates.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as "Virginia's most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture" and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore's Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn't stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller's knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin's crucial message and distinctive voice--practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure--make FOLKS, THIS AIN'T NORMAL a must-read book.
"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.
"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."
Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."
Includes an excerpt from Flight Behavior.
Winner of the James Beard Award
Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules
What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?
Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion--most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
"Michael Pollan [is the] designated repository for the nation's food conscience."
-Frank Bruni, The New York Times
" A remarkable volume . . . engrossing . . . [Pollan] offers those prescriptions Americans so desperately crave."
-The Washington Post
"A tough, witty, cogent rebuttal to the proposition that food can be redced to its nutritional components without the loss of something essential... [a] lively, invaluable book."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"In Defense of Food is written with Pollan's customary bite, ringing clarity and brilliance at connecting the dots."
-The Seattle Times
Michael Pollan’s most recent book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation--the story of our most trusted food expert’s culinary education--was published by Penguin Press in April 2013, and in 2016 it serves as the inspiration for a four-part docuseries on Netflix by the same name.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Schlosser has a flair for dazzling scene-setting and an arsenal of startling facts . . . Fast Food Nation points the way but, to resurrect an old fast food slogan, the choice is yours.”—Los Angeles Times
In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.
In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.
“As disturbing as it is irresistible . . . Exhaustively researched, frighteningly convincing . . . channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Schlosser shows how the fast food industry conquered both appetite and landscape.”—The New Yorker
Eric Schlosser is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and the author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and Chew on This (with Charles Wilson).