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New Book Releases – Week of 11 May 2020

Here are a few May 2020 book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to each of the new book releases …)

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May 2020 Book Releases

Henri Nouwen and The Return of the Prodigal Son: The Making of a Spiritual Classic

Gabrielle Earnshaw

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming is Henri Nouwen’s most popular book, selling over one million copies since its publication in 1992. What accounts for its ongoing popularity as a spiritual classic? Drawing from extensive research in Nouwen’s archives, author and Chief Archivist for the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust, Gabrielle Earnshaw, provides a detailed account of how the book came to be written, shedding light on Nouwen’s writing process and aspects of his life experience that influenced his insights and ideas. Earnshaw examines Nouwen’s intellectual formation as well as the impact of his family and friends on the shape of the book. Letters, many published here for the first time, give us a privileged look at Henri’s world during the nine years he took to complete the book. Earnshaw considers how it compares to other books published at the same time to place the work and its author in a historical, cultural and religious/spiritual context. Finally, she explores how Nouwen himself was changed by the book and why twenty-three later it continues to touch the hearts and minds of 21st century readers.

*** READ an article about this book

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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