Wendell Berry: Life and Work
Edited by Jason Peters
The University Press of Kentucky, 2007.
368 pp; Paper, $21.95
From the Review in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
"He was taller than I had expected, almost gangly, with inimitable strides; the gestures few, the body vigorous, the old clothes no different from those worn by our farming neighbors at home…”
John Lane, one of the essayists in Wendell Berry: Life and Work, edited by Jason Peters, describes the man whose writings he had come to call genius, after reading his essay, “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture” (1977). Lane, from the United Kingdom, considers the work a masterpiece, and its author “with a natural genius as pure and whole as Thoreau.” Like most of the writers in this collection, Lane finds that Berry's foremost theme is about place and community.
Thirty men and women, professional writers themselves, including Donald Hall, Barbara Kingsolver and James Baker Hall, agree by their reverence that Berry is “one of the great figures of our time.” They discuss his placing community and interaction for the common good over the centralization of the work and life of the world; hand-to-plow farming to take from our natural resources only what one needs and can use; being still and listening to the wise interactions of nature without disruptions of power boats and beeping machines and thundering traffic; recognizing God in our Sabbath walks, not in a corporation's idea of the Almighty... Read the entire Review.