Hearth: A Global Conversation on Community, Identity, and Place

Edited by Annick Smith and Susan O’Connor. Milkweed Editions, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-57131-379-9
This anthology of prose, poetry, and photography from authors around the world, edited by environmental advocate O’Connor and author Smith (Homestead), undertakes a thoughtful, at times poignant exploration of the idea of the hearth in the present era. Each author responds to the question of what a hearth means, be it a literal fireplace, family gathering place, public square, or symbolic center. The authors also interrogate what it means to have a hearth, or to lose one. In “Heaarth,” environmentalist Bill McKibben talks about community and introspection at a campfire; in “Kilauea Caldera, My Hearth,” poet Pualani Kanahele claims a volcano as her hearth. In a particularly haunting piece, environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams and conservationist Sarah Hedden discuss participating in a Japanese tea ceremony. Overall, these pieces respond to a widespread sense of displacement and division by expressing a yearning for centeredness, as well as a fear that the hearth, and the sense of belonging it symbolizes, are disappearing from contemporary life. Thought-provoking, meditative, mournful, and comforting for readers who seek a connection to purpose and meaning, the anthology acts as a hearth of its own. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-57131-989-0
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-1-57131-380-5
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