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A Private History of Awe

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  • Daniel N. Washburn
    A Private History of Awe (Hardcover) by Scott Russell Sanders List Price: $25.00 ... 15.75 & el A Private History of Awe (Hardcover) by Scott Russell Sanders
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2006
      A Private History of Awe (Hardcover)
      by Scott Russell Sanders
      List Price: $25.00
      15.75 & el
      A Private History of Awe (Hardcover)
      by Scott Russell Sanders



      The Author writes:

      A Private History of Awe is a coming-of-age memoir, love story, and
      spiritual testament. I never thought I would make such a book, wary as I
      am of memoirs and spirit-language. For years I shied away from writing
      about religious experience, in part because of the hostility that many
      literary readers show toward all references to spirituality, in part
      because these matters have always seemed to me better left private. Yet
      the questions I've kept returning to in my adult life are essentially
      religious ones, and I found myself unwilling to abandon this terrain to
      the televangelists and fundamentalists.

      Beginning with childhood intuitions of spirit in nature, the narrative
      recounts an education in ultimate things. My ethics were formed in
      conversation with the Midwestern landscape, the Bible, rural Methodist
      churches, science, literature, and family. Those influences prepared me
      to hear the wisdom in such inspired human beings as Tolstoy, Thoreau,
      Gandhi, Einstein, Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Merton,
      Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Buddha.

      During the writing of this book, I spent many hours caring for my
      mother, as she suffered physical and mental decline, and caring for my
      first grandchild, as she launched into life with the marvelous energy
      and beauty natural to all healthy children. Together, the dwindling
      elder and burgeoning youngster made their way into the book, adding
      their twin stories of painful departure and exuberant entrance to the
      narrative of my own formative years.

      I'd like to believe that A Private History of Awe belongs to the
      tradition of American wisdom literature running from Emerson and Thoreau
      to Wendell Berry and Annie Dillard. I set out to describe my own brushes
      with the ground of being, the holy source of all that rises and passes,
      and to record my search for a language and way of life adequate to those
      experiences. The resulting book may irk true-believers at one extreme
      and militant secularists at the other. But I hope that readers who dwell
      between those extremes will find, as the Quakers say, that A Private
      History of Awe speaks to their condition. --SRS
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