Every once in a while, I discover an author whose work simply takes my breath away. Wendell Berry is one of those authors. He is prolific and versatile, writing novels, short fiction, poetry, and essays. His work makes me think, makes me cry, makes me laugh – and changes me. He is an author that I want people to know about, and so I decided to host a challenge designed to introduce more people to his work.
Berry is probably best known for his Port William novels, including Hannah Coulter and Jayber Crow and many others. I was introduced to the Port William characters in his collection of short fiction, That Distant Land, which, to this day, remains one of my favorite short story collections of all time.
His poetry is equally wonderful, and his essays are brilliant and deep and I usually have to read them twice to fully comprehend what he’s trying to say. His writing – fiction, non-fiction, and poetry alike – centers on family, community, and our ties to the land. His writing makes me ache for a simpler way of life. For a great reference on Wendell Berry, including a complete list of his published works, check out this site.
Here’s a list of his titles that are still in print and available for purchase new:
The Memory of Old Jack
A Place on Earth
That Distant Land: Collected Stories
A World Lost
The Mad Farmer Poems
A Timbered Choir
Collected Poems: 1957-1982
What Are People For?
Another Turn of the Crank
The Art of the Commonplace
A Continuous Harmony
Life Is a Miracle
The Long-Legged House
Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community
Standing by Words
The Unforeseen Wilderness
The Unsettling of America
The Way of Ignorance
For those of you interested in joining me in the challenge, here are the details:
~ The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
~ Any books read for this challenge can also apply to other challenges you are working on.
~ Re-reads are allowed.
~ Choose your commitment level:
Dangling your toes: 2 books
Getting your feet wet: 3 books
Wading on in: 4 books, including one essay or poetry collection
Diving headfirst: 6 books, including one essay or poetry collection
~ Write up a post indicating that you are participating (feel free to copy the lovely graphic at the top of this post), and then add your challenge post’s link to the Mr. Linky on the main challenge page.
~ You don’t have to list your books ahead of time – just have fun reading throughout the year.
~ I will put up a page for the challenge in my left sidebar, and add a Mr. Linky for reviews and wrap-up posts.
Special thanks to Kevin for the challenge button he designed for me. 🙂