Monday, May 31, 2010
Books by Theme: Loners
Where God Begins to Be picks up her story three decades later, when she moves to the Appalachian woodlands to become a hermit. Her new life revolves around carrying water, stacking firewood, and performing other tasks of survival. Karper’s perseverance is rewarded with increased creativity and spiritual wholeness.
Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Thoreau, who valued voluntary simplicity as it afforded him time for study and contemplation, built a simple cabin on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s land and lived there experimentally from 1845 to 1847. Although he “never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude,” he was no hermit and by book’s end becomes a sojourner in civilization once again.
Drinking the Rain delightfully traces her transformation from stressed-out city person to beachcomber/wild foods connoisseur. A prolific scribbler, she retreats to a small family cabin on the coast of Maine intending to write. There she begins to lose her desire for such busyness and re-creates herself over in rich, simple solitude.
Dog: a Short Novel by Michelle Herman features J.T. (Jill) Rosen, a college professor and poet who in midlife has given up all social contact. When J.T. adopts a dog she names Phil, she manages to avoid meeting other dog owners by walking the dog at midnight. Yes, J.T. is both cynical and neurotic, but her relationship with Phil reveals the deep love that even the most solitary soul can feel for another living creature.