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Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

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Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life Cover

ISBN13: 9781594484384
ISBN10: 1594484384
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Kathleen Norris's masterpiece: a personal and moving memoir that resurrects the ancient term acedia, or soul-weariness, and brilliantly explores its relevancy to the modern individual and culture.

Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books, yet she couldn't drag herself out of bed in the morning, couldn't summon the energy for daily tasks. Even as she struggled, Norris recognized her familiar battle with acedia. She had discovered the word in an early Church text when she was in her thirties. Having endured times of deep soul-weariness since she was a teenager, she immediately recognized that this passage described her affliction: sinking into a state of being unable to care. Fascinated by this "noonday demon," so familiar to those in the early and medieval Church, Norris read intensively and knew she must restore this forgotten but utterly relevant and important concept to the modern world's vernacular.

Like Norris's bestselling The Cloister Walk, Acedia & Me is part memoir and part meditation. As in her bestselling Amazing Grace, here Norris explicates and demystifies a spiritual concept, exploring acedia through the geography of her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition. Unlike her earlier books, this one features a poignant narrative throughout of Norris's and her husband's bouts with acedia and its clinical cousin, depression. Moreover, her analysis of acedia reveals its burden not just on individuals but on whole societies and that the restless boredom, frantic escapism, commitment phobia, and enervating despair that we struggle with today are the ancient demon of acedia in modern dress.

An examination of acedia in the light of theology, psychology, monastic spirituality, the healing powers of religious practice, and Norris's own experience, Acedia & Me is both intimate and historically sweeping, brimming with exasperation and reverence, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always important.

Review:

"Acedia & Me may hide secrets within its wealth of information. It's not a narrative so much as a reflection. Read it gently and carefully, and not without humility." Oregonian

Review:

"Norris, a superb storyteller....casts our predicament in a new light.... Reading this strongly argued, paradigm-altering work may be the first strike against the demon it portrays." Booklist

Review:

"Norris traverses theology, psychology, literature and personal experience in lyrical, blunt, scholarly and surprisingly funny prose." USA Today

Synopsis:

The author of the bestselling Amazing Grace demystifies a spiritual concept, exploring acedia — or soul-weariness — through her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.

Synopsis:

The extraordinary New York Times-bestselling masterpiece from one of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time (San Francisco Chronicle).

Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books, yet she couldn't drag herself out of bed in the morning, couldn't summon the energy for her daily tasks. Even as she struggled, Norris recognized her familiar battle with acedia, a word she had discovered in early Church text years earlier. Fascinated by this noonday demon, so familiar to those in the early and medieval Church, Norris knew she must restore this forgotten but important concept to the modern world's vernacular. An examination of acedia in the light of psychology, spirituality, the healing powers of religious practice, and Norris's own experience, Acedia & Me is both intimate and historically sweeping, brimming with exasperation and reverence, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always insightful.

About the Author

Kathleen Norris is the award-winning, bestselling author of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith; The Cloister Walk; and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, in various anthologies, and in her own three volumes of poetry. She divides her time between South Dakota and Hawaii.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Leavenworth Reader, January 12, 2011 (view all comments by Leavenworth Reader)
Not an easy read, but really thought provoking. Sample: "I had to reject my feelings of hurt and anger, which were self-indulgent under the circumstances." Working through the thought that anger imprisons us within ourselves, Kathleen Norris pushes the reader to think about our choices.

The concept of acedia is well examined using a multitude of sources including monastic writings. She talks of how the numbing repetitions of our lives can lead to hopelessness and a nameless detachment. Do we care about anything other than our own perceived needs? How many of us recognize that within ourselves or others close to us?

This is a well written narrative, a simple memior, an examination of acedia. Read it with an open heart and mind and I think you will find it well worth the time and effort (yes, effort) involved.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594484384
Author:
Norris, Kathleen
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Author:
Norris, Kathleen
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography-Religious
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.22x5.60x.90 in. .75 lbs.
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Religious
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Psychopathology » Depression
Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Christianity » Inspirational
Religion » Western Religions » Inspirational

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594484384 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Acedia & Me may hide secrets within its wealth of information. It's not a narrative so much as a reflection. Read it gently and carefully, and not without humility."
"Review" by , "Norris, a superb storyteller....casts our predicament in a new light.... Reading this strongly argued, paradigm-altering work may be the first strike against the demon it portrays."
"Review" by , "Norris traverses theology, psychology, literature and personal experience in lyrical, blunt, scholarly and surprisingly funny prose."
"Synopsis" by , The author of the bestselling Amazing Grace demystifies a spiritual concept, exploring acedia — or soul-weariness — through her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.
"Synopsis" by , The extraordinary New York Times-bestselling masterpiece from one of the most eloquent yet earthbound spiritual writers of our time (San Francisco Chronicle).

Kathleen Norris had written several much loved books, yet she couldn't drag herself out of bed in the morning, couldn't summon the energy for her daily tasks. Even as she struggled, Norris recognized her familiar battle with acedia, a word she had discovered in early Church text years earlier. Fascinated by this noonday demon, so familiar to those in the early and medieval Church, Norris knew she must restore this forgotten but important concept to the modern world's vernacular. An examination of acedia in the light of psychology, spirituality, the healing powers of religious practice, and Norris's own experience, Acedia & Me is both intimate and historically sweeping, brimming with exasperation and reverence, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always insightful.

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