Archives For Scott Russell Sanders

 

Today (October 26th) marks the birthday of one of the most significant living writers here in Indiana, Scott Russell Sanders. Best known for his essays, Sanders has also written fiction, and picture books for children. His work will be of interest to readers of Wendell Berry’s work.

LISTEN to a talk that Sanders gave
on the importance of Public Libraries

Scott Russell Sanders’ 
Favorite Classics to Re-Read

 

In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide to his work.

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.

1)  A Conservationist Manifesto

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Since it is Holy Week this week, we are taking a break from our regular Writers on the Classics column.

As we take a sort of Spring Break, we thought it would be a good time to recap the series to date.  Be sure to check out any of the posts you might have missed!

In 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.

We’ve asked a number of noted writers to pick the classics that they often return to, and we will be running these lists as a weekly feature on our website through 2013.

Here are the twelve posts in the series so far:

 Writers on the Classics

#1
Shane Claiborne
Author,
The Irresistible Revolution

 

#2
Karen Swallow Prior
Author, BOOKED

#3
Scott Russell Sanders
Award-winning
Essayist/Novelist

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In 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.

We’ve asked a number of noted writers to pick the classics that they often return to, and we will be running these lists as a weekly feature on our website through 2013.

This week’s post in the series is by Scott Russell Sanders.

Writers on the Classics:
[ #1 – Shane Claiborne ]  [ #2 – Karen Swallow Prior ]

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto. The best of his essays from the past thirty years, plus nine new essays, are collected in Earth Works, published in 2012 by Indiana University Press (One of our Best Books of 2012!). Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction,  and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their hometown of Bloomington, in the hardwood hill country of Indiana’s White River Valley.  [ Listen to an excellent talk that Scott gave on the importance of public libraries… ]

 


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Free Ebooks (and More!)

January 10, 2012 — 1 Comment

 

Here’s a sampling of some of
the free stuff we give away on the ERB site…

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Choose a FREE ebook when you
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Our collection of FREE ebooks for the Kindle!



Download Mp3’s of
Wendell Berry reading his poetry!

Via NPR’s Speaking of Faith website…

Mp3’s of Wendell Berry reading 7 of his poems,
Including “How to be a poet”
and “The Man Born to Farming”…

DOWNLOAD these Mp3’s here.


Free Ebook:
The Church, Change and Development By Ivan Illich
Illich was among the sharpest Catholic philosophers and cocial critics of the 20th century
DOWNLOAD the ebook here…

Not familiar with Illich? (You should be…)
Download an audio recording of John McKnight telling stories about his friend Illich…


Other free goodies:

 

Last Saturday was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of The East Washington Street branch of the Indianapolis Public Library (the library located just south of Englewood Christian Church).

One of the treats of this celebration was a brief talk by renowned Indiana author Scott Russell Sanders on the importance of public libraries for common good.  Scott’s most recent book A Conservationist Manifesto was selected as a 2009 Englewood Honor Book, as one of the best books of that year (Read our review here).  He also has a large retrospective collection of his essays (that includes nine previously unpublished pieces) entitled Earth Works that will be released by Indiana University Press in early 2012 (and is available for pre-order).

Listen to or download this talk:

Scott Russell Sanders on Public Libraries

Recording posted with the permission of the speaker.
IMAGE CREDIT: ScottRussellSanders.com

 

“The Work of Creating
Wise and Loving Communities “

 

A Review of
A Conservationist Manifesto.
by Scott Russell Sanders.

 Reviewed by Chris Smith.

 


A Conservationist Manifesto.
Scott Russell Sanders.
Paperback: Indiana Univ. Press, 2009.
Buy now:  [ Doulos Christou Books $17 ] [ Amazon ]

 


A Conservationist Manifesto is a glorious new collection of essays by Scott Russell Sanders, the noted, novelist, nature writer and Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University.  Sanders set forth the tone for this collection in the preface by challenging the prevailing consumerism of Western culture and issuing the call for us to “savor and preserve” the world instead of devouring it (xi).  The book is divided into three parts which represent facets of Sanders’ vision of conservation: “Caring for the Earth,” “Caring for Home Ground” and “Caring for Generations to come.”  The use of the language of care here stands in contrast to the carelessness of consumer culture (see, for instance, John McKnight’s The Careless Society) and should also should be of interest to the Church as we seek to embody our vocation as stewards of creation.  In the book’s first part, Sanders explores the language and imagery that we use to speak of the Earth as a whole.  He begins by drawing on the biblical story of Noah (artfully juxtaposed with that of present-day tree-sitting environmental activists) to challenge us to see the Earth as an Ark.  He concludes:

 

We are not the captains of this vessel, although we may flatter ourselves by thinking so.  We are common passengers, and yet because we are both clever and numerous, we bear a unique responsibility to do everything we can to assure that this one precious ark will stay afloat, with all the least and greatest of our fellow travelers safely on board (21).

The next essay, on “Common Wealth” is reminiscent of Wendell Berry’s work, and especially of Bill McKibben’s renowned book Deep Economy.  In an age where consumerism implores us to amass a wealth of stuff for ourselves as individuals, Sanders argues eloquently that we need to recover a sense of resources that we hold in common with our neighbors.  Churches, in particular, should meditate on the wisdom of his thought that “The work of creating wise and loving communities begins with cherishing our common wealth” (32).  In the essay, “Two Stones,” Sanders uses two small stones – one a chunk of 320-million-year-old Indiana siltstone, the other a lump of pumice taken from the shore of Ghost Lake after the explosion of Mt. St. Helens – to tell two inter-woven stories about the Earth.  The siltstone tells the story of the Earth’s “great age and ceaseless flow and perennial vigor” (66).  The pumice, on the other hand, tell the story of nature’s resiliency and capacity to heal herself.  These stories, taken together, remind us of the importance both of conserving the “living abundance” of the Earth and of the humility with which we must approach this task.

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