The first volume of the Library of America's definitive two-volume selection of the nonfiction writings of our greatest living advocate for sustainable culture.
Writing with elegance and clarity, Wendell Berry is a compassionate and compelling voice for our time of political and cultural distrust and division, whether expounding the joys and wisdom of nonindustrial agriculture, relishing the pleasure of eating food produced locally by people you know, or giving voice to a righteous contempt for hollow innovation. He is our most important writer on the cultural crisis posed by industrialization and mass consumerism, and the vital role of rural, sustainable farming in preserving the planet as well as our national character. Now, in celebration of Berry's extraordinary six-decade-long career, Library of America presents a two-volume selection of his nonfiction writings prepared in close consultation with the author.
This first volume collects thirty-three essays from nine different books, including his first, The Long-Legged House (1969), What are People For? (1990), with its still provocative essay Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer, and the complete text of his now classic The Unsettling of America (1975), whose argument about the enormous ecological, economic, and human costs of industrial agriculture has, as the author notes, "not had the happy fate of being proved wrong."
Berry's essays remain timely, even urgent today, and will resonate with anyone interested in our relationship to the natural world and especially with a younger, politically engaged generation invested in the future welfare of the planet.
Wendell Berry (b. 1934) is a novelist, poet, farmer, and environmental writer and activist. He has published over fifty books, including more than two dozen books of poetry, sixteen essay collections, and eight novels. In 2010 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, and in 2013 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016 he received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle. He has made his home with his wife, Tanya Berry, in Henry County, Kentucky, for the last fifty years.
Jack Shoemaker is the Editorial Director of Counterpoint Press, publishing the work of Gary Snyder, M.F.K. Fisher, Evan S. Connell, Robert Aitken, Anne Lamott, James Salter, Gina Berriault, and many others. He has worked with Wendell Berry for more than forty years.