The Hidden Wound
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An impassioned, thoughtful, and fearless essay on the effects of racism on the American identity by one of our country's most humane literary voices.
Acclaimed as "one of the most humane, honest, liberating works of our time" (The Village Voice
), The Hidden Wound
is a book-length essay about racism and the damage it has done to the identity of our country. Through Berry's personal experience, he explains how remaining passive in the face of the struggle of racism further corrodes America's great potential. In a quiet and observant manner, Berry opens up about how his attempt to discuss racism is rooted in the hope that someday the historical wound will begin to heal. Pulitzer prize-winning author Larry McMurtry calls this "a profound, passionate, crucial piece of writing . . . Few readers, and I think, no writers will be able to read it without a small pulse of triumph at the temples: the strange, almost communal sense of triumph one feels when someone has written truly well . . . The statement it makes is intricate and beautiful, sad but strong." "Mr. Berry is a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau. ―The Baltimore Sun Berry's poems] shine with the gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder of life. ―The Christian Science Monitor Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life. ―The Bloomsbury Review " Berry's] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America's agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal." ―Publishers Weekly
Praise For The Hidden Wound…
"A profound, passionate, crucial piece of writing . . . Few readers, and I think, no writers will be able to read it without a small pulse of triumph at the temples: the strange, almost communal sense of triumph one feels when someone has written truly well . . . The statement it makes is intricate and beautiful, sad but strong." Larry McMurtry, The Washington Post
"Berry has produced one of the most humane, honest, liberating works of our time. It is a beautiful book. More than that, it has become at one stroke an essential book. Every American who can read at all should read it." Hayden Carruth, The Village Voice
"One of the most impressive aspects of Berry's book is the authentic simplicity of his style, the directness with which that style can accommodate Tolstoy, Malcolm X, work songs, anecdotes, speculation, and polemic indignation . . . The strength of this book is its connecting America's two major problems: the exploiting of men and land; it deserves as wide an audience as possible." Louisville Courier-Journal
"One of the most touching and true personal testaments concerned with our country's racial dilemma." Publishers Weekly
"The brunt of the book is to wake us up, page after page, from stupidity. 'It is a kind of death,' Montaigne said, 'to avoid the pain of well doing, or trouble of well living.' Wendell Berry makes that observation rip the air like an alarm clock." Guy Davenport, Life
Counterpoint LLC, 9781582434865, 137pp.
Publication Date: May 18, 2010
About the Author
Wendell Berry is the author of fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was recently awarded the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. For over forty years he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya, in Kentucky.