Hunting for Hope: A Father's Journeys

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9780807064252: Hunting for Hope: A Father's Journeys

After an angry confrontation with his son on a hiking trip intended to restore their relationship, Scott Sanders realizes that his own despair has darkened his son's world. In Hunting for Hope he sets out to gather his own reasons for facing the future with hope, finding powers of healing in nature, in culture, in community, in spirit, and within each of us.

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Review:

Author Scott Russell Sanders has written numerous award-winning books (including Staying Put and Secrets of the Universe) about the environmental and moral crises of the late 20th century--inspiration and fuel for all who care about the state of the world. Well, almost all. On a backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies, he learns he has passed on to his teenage son Jesse not hope, but a paralyzing unease.

"You make me feel the planet's dying and people are to blame and nothing can be done about it," Jesse tells his father. "Maybe you can get by without hope, but I can't. I've got a lot of living still to do. I have to believe there's a way out of this mess. Otherwise what's the point? Why study, why work--why do anything if it's all going to hell?"

Sanders, taking his son's questions as seriously as any environmental quandary, sets out to locate and write about the sources of his own modest optimism. These elegant, carefully polished essays slide one into the other as smoothly as the joints of a craftsman's chair. In chapters such as "Wildness," "Body Bright," "Fidelity," and "Simplicity" Sanders calls to mind the writing of American Transcendentalists as well as Wendell Berry's essays on faith and community. He praises the bonds of family, the wildness of nature, "the lightness and purpose" of simplicity. It's a thoughtful, encouraging book for anyone who has ever found themselves wondering, Why bother? --Maria Dolan

About the Author:

For his personal nonfiction, Scott Russell Sanders has won the Lannan Literary Award and the Great Lakes Book Award. His books include The Paradise of Bombs, Secrets of the Universe, and Staying Put. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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