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At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life (Hardcover)
by Fenton Johnson

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Fenton Johnson's lyrical prose and searching sensibility explore what it means to choose solitude and to celebrate the notion that solitude is a legitimate and dignified calling. He delves into the lives and works of nearly a dozen iconic solitaries he considers his kindred spirits, from Thoreau at Walden Pond and Emily Dickenson in Amherst, to the fiercely self-protective Zora Neale Hurston. The bright wakes these figures have left behind illuminate Fenton Johnson's journey from his childhood in rural Kentucky to his solitary travels in America, France, and India. Woven into his musings about better-known solitaries are stories of friends and family he has lost and found along the way.

"I love Fenton Johnson's sensibility. It's a joy and a balm to see the world through his eyes--and to rediscover solitude as our deepest and most powerful source of creativity and spirituality, even for people who are coupled."--Susan Cain, author of Quiet and Quiet Power
 
"In studies of the lives of beloved artists, and in beautiful meditations on his own life, Fenton Johnson encourages us to understand solitariness as consecration, a fecund, rich condition for the pursuit of beauty. Fenton Johnson's writing is so companionable and wise that it enacts what it counsels... it converts sterile loneliness to creative solitude." --Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

About the Author


Fenton Johnson is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. He teaches at Spalding University, contributes to Harper's magazine, and has been featured on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He lives in San Francisco, California, and Tucson, Arizona.
 

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