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Life Is a Miracle

An Essay Against Modern Superstition

List Price: $14.95

April 19, 2001 | Paperback | 5 x 8, 176 Pages | ISBN 9781582431413
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"Berry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today." —Washington Post Book World

In Life Is a Miracle, the devotion of science to the quantitative and reductionist world is measured against the mysterious, qualitative suggestions of religion and art. Berry sees life as the collision of these separate forces, but without all three in the mix we are left at sea in the world.

WENDELL BERRY was born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1934. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1956 and continued on to complete a master’s degree in 1957. In 1958, he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

Berry has taught at Stanford University, Georgetown College, New York University, the University of Cincinnati, and Bucknell University. He taught at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky from 1964-77, and again from 1987-93.

The author of more than 50 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Wendell Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1962), the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry (1962), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1965), a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing (1971), the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review (1974), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award (1987), a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction (1989), Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers (1991), the Ingersoll Foundation’s T.S. Eliot Prize (1994), the John Hay Award (1997), the Lyndhurst Prize (1997), and the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review (1998). Most recently, he has been awarded the National Humanities Medal (2010) by Barack Obama, and gave 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

His books include the novel Hannah Coulter (2004), the essay collections Imagination in Place (2010) and What Matters? (2010), and Leavings: Poems (2010), all available from Counterpoint Press. Berry’s latest works include New Collected Poems (2012) and A Place in Time (2012), Wendell Berry’s newest volume in his Port William series.

He lives and works with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.


“[A] scathing assessment…Berry shows that Wilson’s much-celebrated, controversial pleas in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to science…Berry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today.” —Washington Post Book World

“I am tempted to say he understands [Consilience] better than Wilson himself…A new emancipation proclamation in which he speaks again and again about how to defy the tyranny of scientific materialism.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Berry takes a wrecking ball to E. O. Wilson’s Consilience, reducing its smug assumptions regarding the fusion of science, art, and religion to so much rubble.” —Kirkus

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