Ranging from America’s insatiable consumerism and household economies to literary subjects and America’s attitude toward waste, here Berry gracefully navigates from one topic to the next. He speaks candidly about the ills plaguing America and the growing gap between people and the land. Despite the somber nature of these essays, Berry’s voice and prose provide an underlying sense of faith and hope. He frames his reflections with poetic responsibility, standing up as a firm believer in the power of the human race not only to fix its past mistakes but to build a future that will provide a better life for all.
What Are People For?
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WENDELL BERRY, an essayist, novelist, and poet, has been honored with the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, the John Hay Award of the Orion Society, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, among others. In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, and in 2016, he was the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Life Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle. Berry lives with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Henry County, Kentucky.
"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
"He is . . . the prophetic American voice of our day." —Christian Science Monitor