Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry

The main story in a recent issue of the newspaper that serves my small town was "Nevins Retires After Decades of Parts Service." Nevins sold auto parts for 40 years. At the end of this career, he offers no deep conclusions about life, but he does recall that "years ago, all Chevrolets took the same points, same condenser," and now auto parts have proliferated. Local residents recall him opening the store on Christmas morning to supply batteries. "Nevins isn't one to seek the limelight, so the News-Enterprise was pleased when he agreed to meet with us and talk about working in the Main Street store over the years." Anywhere outside the confines of northern Warren County the story would have no significance, but as Wendell Berry reminds us in Jayber Crow, a quietly perfect book, anywhere outside a real community may be outside the moral universe as well.

 

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