Prize-winning essayist turns to the imagination as a spiritual guide and material method of living through climate disruption, as climate change and broad extinction forever alter our place on the planet and our lives together
Product Code: 8412
ISBN: 9781640093652
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Published Date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 272
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $16.95

Imagination breaks the shell of the status quo, summoning up objects that do not yet exist, actions that no one has yet performed, and wiser ways of living that have yet to be realized.

Fascinated by science and math from an early age, Scott Russell Sanders later developed a passion for literature and art. From his college years onward, he has been deeply engaged in struggles against racism, sexism, environmental devastation, and war. Gradually he realized that his response to each of these challenges arose from compassion and a desire to reduce suffering.

Woven through his reflections on issues vital to human survival and flourishing, Sanders tells the story of his own intellectual and moral journey from childhood religion to an adult philosophy of life (which is later tested when his son is diagnosed with stage-four cancer). He recounts how he and his wife, who has Parkinson’s disease, leave their beloved old house to accommodate her needs, and turn their handsome new house into a home and their raw city lot into a garden.

In The Way of Imagination, Scott Russell Sanders shows that acts of imagination are crucial to healing our divided society and damaged earth.


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"A profoundly humane essayist, novelist, and nature writer finds glimmers of hope for a world in peril . . . What sets this collection apart is the manner in which he connects these crises and, even in his most despairing moments, assays our capacity for change . . . The author is no Pollyanna, but he puts his trust in our individual and collective imagination--not just science or the more benign tenets of religion--to conceive of and walk a more constructive path . . . Changing attitudes is our most difficult task. Sanders, an insightful guide, knows we have no choice but to try." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A comfort . . . It tells patiently and carefully the truth as you have troubled to know it and to live with it. I like your title, The Way of Imagination, by which you announce your commitment to a thoroughness contrary to the bad motives of anger, fear, and hate. Most of all, I am grateful for your refusal to single out one of our interdependent great problems as the most urgent. I take this as a courtesy to the likelihood that we can't solve one of those problems, all rooted in our habitual violence, without solving them all." --Wendell Berry, in a letter to the author

"The Way of Imagination is a dazzling, often heartbreaking, and ultimately healing meditation on the power of art to confront the existential threat that human greed and violence has foisted upon the earth. Scott Russell Sanders has written a vital book for this dark moment in history, demonstrating the truth of his insight that 'imagination keeps us from being trapped in the present arrangement of things.' His faith in the creative process as a shaping force for good is bracing, and his belief that we are called to love and compassion, notwithstanding the abundant evidence of human folly, is borne out on every page of this illuminating book." --Christopher Merrill, author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood

"Scott Russell Sanders is an honest man in a time of lies, a wise man in a time of foolishness, a healer in a time of wounds, and a beautiful writer in a time of ugly rants. His new book thus offers both solace and inspiration. Like Loren Eiseley or Rachel Carson, Sanders begins with the natural world and leads readers into the moral world, where wondering love becomes an urgent call to care." --Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising

"To read Scott Russell Sanders is to be nourished by a thoughtful mind, a profoundly articulate voice, and a kind soul speaking from the American heartland. These essays praise the good long work of his life, inquiring into the sources of our destructive behaviors and the wellsprings of healing in the imagination. In speaking of both ecological and familial grief, Sanders brings to the fore his deep faith in our capacity to reimagine the human story." --Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit

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