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Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World Paperback – April 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0807063415 ISBN-10: 080706341X

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Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World + Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080706341X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807063415
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This work examines the consequences of displacement in our increasingly mobile society. Sanders, a writer ( In Limestone Country , Beacon , 1991; Secrets of the Universe , LJ 11/1/91) and literature professor at Indiana University, knows the loss that comes from severing ties with the past. Like many of us, he finds that important places of his youth have been bulldozed or paved over. Having grown up in a family that moved frequently, Sanders believes strongly in the importance of putting down roots in a community. In these eight sketches, he draws from an amazing range of sources--the annotated bibliography is excellent. Although some readers may find this work a bit too "spiritual" at times, it should prove popular with many seeking a more settled life. Recommended for public/popular collections.
- Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

From Sanders (Literature/Indiana University; Secrets of the Universe, 1991, etc.): lessons on learning to be at home in a place, in a marriage, and in a house that are textually rich though not startling in their insights. In eight pieces (some of which have previously appeared in The North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The American Voice), Sanders examines his preference for fashioning a life that's ``firmly grounded in household and community, in knowledge of place, in awareness of nature, and in contract with that source from which all things arise.'' It's a preference that runs counter to ``our impulse to wander, to pick up and move--mobility is the rule in human history, rootedness the exception.'' The author-- who's especially adept at finding the right quote--draws on sources as far-ranging as the Bible, Lao-tzu, Wendell Berry, and, of course, Thoreau to make his case. Home is Bloomington, Indiana, a town set in a landscape ``embraced in the watershed of the Ohio River.'' In ``After the Flood'' and ``The Force of Moving Water,'' Sanders poignantly recalls his childhood in an area that was subsequently submerged when a tributary of the Ohio was dammed, and he discusses the history of the river itself, long a waterway for Native Americans, explorers, and entrepreneurs, as well as a passage for more tonnage than either the Suez or Panama canals. But underlying this affirmation of place is the author's even more sublime and ancient search for our place in the scheme of things--a search that Sanders sensitively describes in ``Earth's Body'' and ``Telling the Holy'' as he recounts his fear of dying--the terrifying ``pit that is the square root of nowhere and nothing''- -and the consolation to be found in a sense of ``primal unity.'' Graceful prose that comfortingly reaffirms the familiar without any shock of the new. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
The strength of this collection of interwoven essays lies in Sanders' clear, lucid, often lyrical prose. His strongest moments, particularly "After the Flood" and "Settling Down," are where he focuses on the fundamental idea of his book: the notion that the natural world benefits from people who attach themselves to a place, who reject the idea of "moving on." The chapters about the history of the Ohio River valley are interesting and informative, and his personal memoirs are worthwhile. I did wonder at times why he insists on dealing with the question of whether or not the world is ordered; it didn't seem to me to be important to his main argument. I also at times was overwhelmed and bewildered by the far-flung sources from which he draws quotes: Thomas Berry to Lao-tzu to Salman Rushdie to Wendell Berry. Like John Elder, Sanders suffers perhaps from being too well-read. But if you like Elder's books, or those of Thomas Berry, Ian Marshall, Scott Slovic, and Barry Lopez, this one is well worth reading. It's not too heavy, but meaty anyway.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marty McFly on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
As with all of his books, Sanders brilliantly explores his feelings, thoughts, and beliefs in a well-researched (despite his claims to the contrary) book. As a fellow resident of Bloomington, Indiana (the home he's making in a restless world), I appreciate the way he describes life here in this quiet part of a quiet state in a quiet region of the country.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jmuller@eosinc.com on July 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
An extraordinarily fine stylist, Mr. Sanders reminds us in the very personal essays how important it is to value home and heart. Lives begins at home; life begins when we know where our home is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Harrelson on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read an interview Sanders in the AWP Chronicle and liked his sensibility. Since I've lived in the same place for 40 years, I thought this would be an interesting read. This is not a book that one tears through. Rather it requires a slow thoughtful approach which is in keeping with Sanders perspective on staying put. It takes time and consideration to make a home in a restless world. Sanders writing and thinking is in keeping with Wendell Berry. Both require the reader to look at place with fresh eyes. The essay entitled the "Force of Moving Water" was meditative, descriptive, informative, and as powerful and soothing and disturbing as it's subject matter, the Ohio River. The piece on Sander's anxious late night wandering, "The Earth's Body," was evocative, highly personal, and deeply intelligent. Take your time with this book; you need to absorb Sanders through skin, breath, and the soles of your feet, in the same way you come to know the place you choose to make your home.
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By oldcat on October 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very nice book. Can in used, but good condition. If you are interested in a little history about the Ohio river its a good read. A little nostalgic,but worth the time to read it.
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