Nature & Environmental Writing

Wendell Berry (b. 1934) is a writer whose life’s work has been dedicated to “what I value most in the world: the life and health of the earth, the peacefulness of human communities and households.” In essays both deeply personal and powerfully polemical, Berry speaks for a culture of stewardship and husbandry, for the welfare of rural people often forgotten and marginalized, and for the vital role of sustainable farming in preserving the planet as well as our national character. Berry’s writing combines the authority and wisdom of experience—he has lived on and farmed a hilly acreage in Henry County, Kentucky, on sustainable principles for more than half a century—with the grace and clarity of a great American prose stylist.

In this two-volume edition, such landmark books as The Unsettling of America and Life Is a Miracle are included in full, along with generous selections from more than a dozen other volumes, revealing as never before the evolution of Berry’s thoughts and concerns as a farmer, neighbor, citizen, teacher, activist, and ecological philosopher. Throughout he demonstrates that our existence is always connected to the land, and that even in a modern global economy local farming is essential to the flourishing of our culture, to healthy living and stable communities, and indeed to the continuing survival of the human species. Berry’s essays remain timely, even urgent today, and will resonate with anyone interested in our relationship to the natural world and especially with a younger, politically engaged generation invested in the future welfare of the planet.

This Library of America series edition is printed on acid-free paper and features Smyth-sewn binding, a full cloth cover, and a ribbon marker.

Project support for both volumes was provided by The Gould Family Foundation and Walter E. Robb.

Wendell Berry: Essays 1969–1990 is kept in print by a gift from Walter E. Robb to the Guardians of American Letters Fund.

Wendell Berry: Essays 1993–2017 is available for adoption in the Guardian of American Letters Fund.

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