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The Lesser Guardian Paperback – June 7, 2013
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
About the Author
I grew up, the third of five children, in an old houseboat on Ash Creek in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At age seventeen I learned I had a serious eye condition and two years later I woke up one morning without my sight. It was only after this loss that I encountered so many inspiring people who would change my life completely, beginning with my husband, Kenneth Ingham, also newly blinded, who I met at The Carroll Center For The Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. I received a B.A. in French Literature from the University of Bridgeport. With the help and encouragement of my remarkable French professor, Dr. John Rassias, I won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. There the first of our three children was born. Dr. Rassias went on to an extraordinary career at Dartmouth, where he is famous for his dynamic language-teaching techniques and his work as head of the Peace Corps for the Francophone countries in Africa. My published books are The Lie and I (1990), Poems of the Zodiac (1992), The Fourth Kingdom (1998), Living It (2004), and The Lesser Guardian (2013). Over the years, I have recited at Tapestry of Voices, Stone Soup, Ibbetson Street, Walden Pond, Chapter and Verse, Main Street Café, Brockton and Newton Library Series, and Norfolk and Bay State correctional institutions, Massachusetts. For my husband and me, the golden thread in our lives has been the on-going study of Anthroposophy, the work of Rudolf Steiner, 1861 to 1925. Anthroposophy speaks of the existence of an objective and comprehensible Spiritual World, accessible through direct experience, arising from the development of higher faculties of cognition, independent of the senses. Throughout the ages, special individualities have cultivated these faculties, powers which lie dormant in every human being. Some fruits of this knowledge are Waldorf Education, Camphill Villages (for special-needs children and adults), Bio-Dynamic Farming, Anthroposophical Medicine, and the newly inspired arts of Eurythmy and Speech Formation, as well as Drama, Painting, and Architecture. This brief bio might give the impression that my life is a light-filled tableau, when, like most lives, it is criss-crossed with deep shadows, chief among them a morbid sensitivity to all suffering. Of course, these very shadows, the "nights of the soul", can be the crux of growth, the dawning of self and world knowledge. Joanna Nealon