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World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down Paperback – May 11, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“World Enough & Time is, above all, simply one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. . . Its message about time could not be more timely. This is not just a good book. This is a book that should become a classic.”—John de Graaf, co-author of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and editor of Take Back Your Time

About the Author

Christian McEwen was born in London and grew up in the Borders of Scotland. She has edited four anthologies, including Naming the Waves: Contemporary Lesbian Poetry, and Jo’s Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure, True Grit & Real Life. She has written for the Nation and the Village Voice, and her poems and essays have been widely published. McEwen has taught poetry, environmental literature and creative writing at a number of different venues, including The Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, Williams College, Smith College, and Lesley University. She has been a fellow, several times, at the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, and currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bauhan; first edition (May 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872331466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872331464
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Toinette Lippe on September 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christian McEwen leads us gently but inexorably toward what we all yearn for--the time and space to simply be. We all have a deep hunger for slowfulness and tranquillity but rarely manage to experience it. She has been enjoying "herself" in this way since childhood and now encourages us to do the same by appreciating our lives in each and every moment. She turns on its head the adage that "it is better to travel hopefully than arrive." Let us share this exquisitely written book with as many people as possible before they all die of exhaustion!
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Format: Paperback
This book arrived two days ago. I started to read it and I'm already at page 210. I know I'll continue reading it until deep in the night, once I have had a chance to do my evening hike with my dogs. I want to gobble it up. I realize this is high paced! I love it. I find I can savor it, even if I go fast. I feel very familiar with what CM writes, yet at the same time, so much of what she has to say is new. Delicious!

CM reminds me of the many ways I can be connected with my soul. She blends the personal and the scholarly in a way that the reader feels cared for. I highly recommend her wisdom. World Enough and Time is a great springboard for discussion as well.
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It is a familiar observation that our lives flash by with too little time to savor the gifts of the present moment. Even having read a few books on Buddhism and mindfulness, I was constantly surprised and delighted by "World Enough and Time." It is, if you like, a glowing embroidery stitched around the notion that daydreaming, taking your time, doing things slowly, detaching yourself from the screen, the telephone--taking time for face to face meetings, writing real letters, looking at a painting or a landscape--are essential not only to our creativity but to our very wholeness. Finding inspiration in literature and a wide range of other disciplines, Christian McEwen wears her erudition lightly. Her writing voice is supple and strong as she follows her truths to their innermost parts. She has given me a whole list of other authors I now want to read; and a book that will stay by my bed for a long time to come. This book is a classic of its kind and everyone should read it.
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Fall Back. Today we moved the clocks back by an hour and received the gift of an extra hour. And didn't it feel good? I love that stolen hour. Well, that's what you will feel when you read Christian McEwen's beautifully written new book - like you've been given a very special gift of time - enough time to do, enough time to be. I have read it several times (first in a big gulp and then quite slowly, savoring each chapter)and have talked about it so much that I end up giving my copy away. So I keep buying more copies to give to friends and family. In fact, I have discovered the perfect birthday, Christmas and graduation gift. People love it! This special book is packed with wisdom and intelligence as well as powerful prose that will make your heart sing. I feel like she wrote this book just for me: a New Yorker trying to recover from 'hurry sickness' who hides in doing and busyness. This book is delicious read. It is a healing journey and a recipe for creativity. If you've read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, you will love this book. It will resonate with you if you like the creative side of yourself, the one who takes photographs or writes poems or bakes pies from scratch. If you read Matthieu Ricard's Happiness, you will love the practical ideas that McEwen includes at the end of each chapter. Or if you were attracted to Gretchen Ruben's The Happiness Project, you will really adore McEwen's elegant prose that packs in several university classes worth of insight in gentle ways that feels like poetry. Guess you can tell, I love this book. More importantly, I think we need this book.
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By Laura on October 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this book. It is filled with good sense and rich with the musings of a very wonderful mind. I read pieces of it every morning as a way to get centered in what matters, beyond what passes for connection in today's noisy world. I was prepared to like the book but I was not prepared to have it become a part of my life. A beautiful accomplishment. Time very well spent.
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When I ordered this book, I really wanted to like it. The writer is from Northampton, MA., a familiar place to me where both I and my daughter went to school there at Smith College, a generation apart. The book is beautifully printed and presented. The long bibliography (really a library) of books by authors who appear in the narrative is impressive. One feels that you could go on Amazon and buy almost all of them "used" and set them up in a room of our own to contemplate how to live more slowly and to savor the environs of our life including the outdoors.

Despite the beautiful physical presentation of the book and listing of its resources, I found that the author's personal interjections about her failed and much-mourned relationship with her former partner really got in the way. It's almost as though the author found the book as an outlet for her purpose in life in order to reconcile her loneliness and pain from that separation. That deeply personal aspect that threads through the book might deepen the reading experience for some. But, unfortunately, it did not for me.
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