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Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community

Eight Essays

List Price: $16.95

ON SALE: December 4, 2018 | Paperback | 5.0 x 8.0, 208 pages | ISBN 9781640091405
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“Read [him] with pencil in hand, make notes, and hope that somehow our country and the world will soon come to see the truth that is told here.” —The New York Times Book Review

In this collection of essays, first published in 1993, Wendell Berry continues his work as one of America’s most necessary social commentators. With wisdom and clear, ringing prose, he tackles head-on some of the most difficult problems confronting us near the end of the twentieth century––problems we still face today.

Berry elucidates connections between sexual brutality and economic brutality, and the role of art and free speech. He forcefully addresses America’s unabashed pursuit of self-liberation, which he says is “still the strongest force now operating in our society.” As individuals turn away from their community, they conform to a “rootless and placeless monoculture of commercial expectations and products,” buying into the very economic system that is destroying the earth, our communities, and all they represent.

WENDELL BERRY is an essayist, novelist, and poet. In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, and in 2016, he was the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle. Berry lives with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Henry County, Kentucky.

Praise

Praise for Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community

“Read [him] with pencil in hand, make notes and hope that somehow our country and the world will soon come to see the truth that is told here.” —Charles E. Little, The New York Times Book Review

“Berry’s words are those of a steward. He is trying to preserve that which is intimate, honest, and good. He is an intense, angry, but always caring critic of American culture. His aim is to instill a sense of mission that would cause his readers to begin to build—or rebuild—their local communities.” —Lexington Herald-Leader

“Wendell Berry is among our wisest and most clearsighted thinkers; one can hardly speak of him without the word ‘prophetic’ coming to mind. Writing with grace and sanity from his Kentucky farmstead, his words contain enough common sense to turn absurdity on its head, and because the truth is both simpler and more subtle than any ideology, to challenge the assumptions of every one of our shallow ideological camps.” —Caelum Et Terra

“Berry once again carves out a unique position in American social debate; not liberal (he hates big government), not libertarian (he would balance individual rights along with those of the commonwealth), but always sharp-tongued and aglow with common sense.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The World-Ending Fire

“Wherever we live, however we do so, we desperately need a prophet of responsibility; and although the days of the prophets seem past to many of us, Berry may be the closest to one we have. But, fortunately, he is also a poet of responsibility. He makes one believe that the good life may not only be harder than what we’re used to but sweeter as well.” —The New York Review of Books

“Compelling, luminous … our modern-day Thoreau. He is unlike anybody else writing today. He writes at least as well as George Orwell and has an urgent message for modern industrial capitalism … nobody can risk ignoring him.” —Andrew Marr, New Statesman

“A fascinating tribute to the life of the land … Berry’s writings are timelier than ever.” —Laura Garmeson, Financial Times

“Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him.” —Washington Post Book World

“A pleasing selection of essays from the lifelong farmer and award-winning writer . . . A great place to start for those who are not familiar with Berry’s work; for those who are, it will be a nostalgic stroll down a rural, wooded Memory Lane. In this day and age, his writings are must-reads.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Berry’s graceful essays have long been models of eloquence, insight, and conviction . . . Newcomers will find the works exceptionally timely, and the book as a whole a thoughtful introduction to Berry’s writing.” —Publishers Weekly 

“This collection sees the American published on these islands for the first time, and now he has finally stepped ashore, it’s worth getting to know him … Berry overturns plenty of thoughtful topsoil on environmental issues with a precise pen, and clears any thicket of cosy consensus with a clear eye and cutting hand.” —Irish Times

Praise for The Art of Loading Brush

“In Berry’s new book, The Art of Loading Brush, he is a frustrated advocate, speaking out against local wastefulness and distant idealism; he is a gentle friend, asserting as he always has, the hope possible in caring for the world, and your specific place in it … The Art of Loading Brush is singular in Berry’s corpus.” ―The Paris Review 

“Berry’s essays, continuing arguments begun in The Unsettling of America 40 years ago, will be familiar to longtime readers, blending his farm work with his interests in literature old and new … Vintage Berry sure to please and instruct his many admirers.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“About everything he loves and everything he regrets he has never written better.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“Berry has faithfully cultivated his given life within the limits of his marginal place in rural Kentucky, and … in the essays, stories, and single poem collected in his latest book, he distills his life’s varied work into a coherent sense. And like Kentucky bourbon, it is a complex, mature sense, flavored by the fields and forests of his place.” ―Englewood Review of Books

Praise for It All Turns on Affection

“These powerful, challenging essays show why Berry’s vision of a sustainable, human-scaled society has proven so influential.” ―Publishers Weekly 

Praise for Imagination in Place

“Berry’s latest collection of essays is the reminiscence of a literary life. It is a book that acknowledges a lifetime of intellectual influences, and in doing so, positions Berry more squarely as a cornerstone of American literature … a necessary book. Here, Berry’s place as the ‘grandfather of slow food’ or the ‘prophet of rural living’ is not questioned. This book ensures we understand the depth and breadth of Berry’s art.” ―San Francisco Chronicle 

“[A] stellar collection … Berry turns over well-tilled, ever-fertile ground in Imagination in Place. His ideas flow beyond the channels of agrarian enthusiasm. Foodies, architects, transportation engineers, and other writers are adopting and adapting his concepts, perhaps leading to what he envisions will one day be ‘an authentic settlement of our country.'” ―The Oregonian 

“For those who’ve already come to admire Berry’s moral clarity and closely argued critiques of contemporary society, Imagination in Place is a welcome chance to continue the conversation.” ―Christian Science Monitor 

Praise for Citizenship Papers

“Berry says that these recent essays mostly say again what he has said before. His faithful readers may think he hasn’t, however, said any of it better before.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“His refusal to abandon the local for the global, to sacrifice neighborliness, community integrity, and economic diversity for access to Wal-Mart, has never seemed more appealing, nor his questions of personal accountability more powerful.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The courage of a book, it has been said, is that it looks away from nothing. Here is a brave book.” ―Charlotte Observer 

Praise for Another Turn of the Crank: Essays

“A Kentucky farmer and writer, and perhaps the great moral essayist of our day, Berry has produced one of his shortest but also most powerful volumes.” ―New York Review of Books

“The rarest (and highest) of literary classes consist of that small group of authors who are absolutely inimitable … One of the half-dozen living American authors who belongs in this class is Wendell Berry.” ―Los Angeles Times

“Berry is a philosopher, poet, novelist and an essayist in the tradition of Emerson and Thoreau . . . like Thoreau, he marches to a different drummer, a drummer we would do well to be aware of, if not to march to.” ―San Francisco Chronicle

“Berry is the prophetic American voice of our day.” ―Christian Science Monitor

“The best serious essayist now at work in the United States.” ―Edward Abbey, author of Hayduke Lives

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