Reading this book prompted a minor conversion on my part. You can hardly be a member of my generation and not love the rock group U2, but I’d found the enthusiasm about its theological significance annoying. The rush to baptize the band seemed to me a matter of Christians’ desperation to be cool.
"In my time,” one of Saul Bellow’s characters muses, “parents didn’t hesitate to speak of death. What they seldom mentioned was sex. We’ve got it the other way around.” No American novelist has written more candidly and aggressively about both than Philip Roth.
It was a cold, damp day of the kind that the Irish call summer. I’d paid my respects at the modest grave of William Butler Yeats and then meandered over to admire a narrow, windowless tower built to guard against marauding Danes a thousand years ago.
In his previous books Scott Sanders did much to deepen the public conversation about the sources and patterns that connect broken communities, damaged ecosystems and suffering individuals, and about what it will take to heal and renew things.