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Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) by [Wendell Berry]
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Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,103 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Jayber Crow

"An almost perfect fiction, a sublime meditation on how irrevocable loss is redeemed through a renewed sense of kinship with the land and the past . . . A beautiful and ennobling book."

"Mr. Berry writes elegantly, effortlessly balancing tragedy and a quiet, sly humor."

"The family are caught on the wheel of nature, which is at once blindingly beautiful and unwittingly cruel .  . . The narrative is stunning, the natural scene beautifully evoked."

Amazon.com Review

The questions who and what and how and why are no doubt useful and occasionally even noble in their place. But for Wendell Berry, whose spare and elegant prose has long testified to the rural American values of thrift and frugality, four interrogatives must seem a waste, when one will do. Where is the ultimate qualifier, the sine qua non, for both the author and his characters. Place shapes them and defines them; the winding Kentucky River and the gentle curves of the Kentucky hills find an echo in their lilting speech and brusque affections.

Jayber Crow is another story of the Port William membership, the community whose life--and lives--Berry has unfurled over the course of a half dozen novels. Jayber himself is an orphan, lately returned to the town. And his status as barber and bachelor places him simultaneously at its center and on its margins. A born observer, he hears much, watches carefully, and spends 50 years learning its citizens by heart.

They were rememberers, carrying in their living thoughts all the history that such places as Port William ever have. I listened to them with all my ears, and have tried to remember what they said, though from remembering what I remember I know that much is lost. Things went to the grave with them that will never be known again.
Jayber tells the town's stories tenderly. Gently elegiac, the novel charts the tension between an urge to isolation and an impulse to connectivity, writ both small and large. As the 20th century moves inexorably forward, swallowing in great mechanized gulps rural towns governed by agricultural rhythms, Port William turns in upon itself. And as Jayber admits quietly, "Once a fabric is torn, it is apt to keep tearing. It was coming apart. The old integrity had been broken." Integrity, both whole and shattered, is key to the stories of Burley Coulter, Cecelia Overhold, Troy Chatham, and above all, Athey Keith and his daughter Mattie, to whom Jayber pledges his undying and unrequited love.

Berry's prose, so carefully tuned that you never know it is there, carries us into the very heart of the land itself; his exquisitely constructed sentences suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world. Jayber Crow resonates with variations played on themes of change, looping transitions from war into peace, winter into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, lost into found. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003SNIZV2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Counterpoint (August 30, 2001)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 30, 2001
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1942 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 383 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,103 ratings

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Wendell E. Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. A prolific author, he has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. On January 28, 2015, he became the first living writer to be ushered into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Guy Mendes (Guy Mendes) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,103 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Tony Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars What a find
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2015
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Nick Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely gentle read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2014
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Lindsay Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2017
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Laura H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2016
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Wyenotgo
5.0 out of 5 stars It will make you laugh long and hard and it will break your heart.
Reviewed in Canada on December 7, 2018
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