cover image The Graywolf Annual Ten: Changing Community

The Graywolf Annual Ten: Changing Community

Scott Walker / Author, Terry Tempest Williams / Author, Kathleen Norris

Collected from a diverse range of sources, including Parabola and The New Yorker, these essays offer some insight and grace, but the organizing principle of community is a bit diffuse. Some of the more abstruse essays are academic, like Tim Luke's analysis of liberal theory and ecology. Only a few essays offer strong reporting, like Jane Kramer's look at how the Salman Rushdie affair galvanized England's Muslims, whom she calls ``a constituency waiting to be exploited.'' Most essays are personal accounts: Los Angeles Crip warlord ``Monster Kody'' recalls his initiation into gang violence at the age of 11; journalist Phil Catalfo reports on finding friends and advice on a computer network; and former inmate/reformer Jean Harris observes how prison provides more companionship than some women have seen on the streets. Some of the most resonant essays have a spiritual component: Czech leader Vaclav Havel asserts that ``politics as the practice of morality is possible.'' Theologian Stanley Hauerwas, in a tonic critique of platitudes about rebellion against authority, maintains that students must be trained to think before they are allowed to think for themselves. Walker is Graywolf's publisher. (Nov.)