The Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geobiography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.
Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?
Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as the champion of responsibilities and priorities that serve the health, vitality and happiness of the whole community of creation.
Raised from the Ground is Saramago’s most deeply personal novel, the book in which he found the signature style and voice that distinguishes all of his brilliant works.
Portsmouth, January 1941. When the Luftwaffe unleashes its full fury on the city in the first of three major blitzes, the Taylor family are bombed out. Judy finds her job relocated from the gutted Guildhall to a hotel in Southsea, and home is now a small terraced house in April Grove, with one fewer bedroom and no bathroom or inside lavatory. And then there is the news she has been dreading: her sailor fiancé has been killed.
Judy and her young, recently widowed aunt Polly decide to turn their grief to good account and join the WVS, running canteens, accompanying evacuee children and helping the families of servicemen, often in the face of danger from air raids, flying bombs and V2 rockets.
Gradually, Judy and Polly find their own grief healing as they take part not only in their war work but in the life of April Grove, and although both are at first convinced they will never know love again, they both find it in the least likely manner.