Synopses & Reviews
At once a beautifully poetic memoir and an exploration of the various ways we live in the world, A Language Older than Words
explains violence as a pathology that touches every aspect of our lives, and indeed affects all aspects of life on earth. This chronicle of a young man's drive to transcend domestic abuse offers a challenging look at our worldwide sense of community, and how we can make things better.
This narrative moves elegantly between the microcosm of the author's dysfunctional family and the macrocosm of History. Readers are initiated into the stifling world of child and spousal abuse, and then beyond, where Jensen finds the same dynamics tricked out on the grand stage of Western civilization. The prose is as lyrical and cogent as it is convincing.
Jensen's vast experiences as an environmentalist, high-jumper, student, teacher, beekeeper, and most importantly, as a human being give rise to the wealth of examples and anecdotes that further illustrate this cry for community. The masterful intertwining of all these elements elevates A Language Older than Words above and beyond an engrossing book, giving readers what might even be described as a curative outlook on life.
At once a beautifully poetic memoir and an uncompromising political tract, the narrative moves elegantly between the microcosm of Jensen's family and the macrocosm of world history. Parallels are drawn between the abuse he experienced at the hands of his father and the destructive march of "progress" under the banner of a world market. He highlights the inevitable losses of a planet that is dying to keep up with the selfish whims of its inhabitants.