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Going on Faith: Writers on a Spiritual Quest

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In the new edition of this deeply felt book, nine American writers and thinkers from different points on the religious compass discuss how their work is nourished by spiritual concerns. Diane Ackerman explains why she calls herself a "messenger of wonder" and how, in her own observations of the natural world, "there is a form of beholding that is a kind of prayer." ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 30th 1999 by Da Capo Press
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Dec 29, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pamela Klein
Trust William Zinsser to bring together four novelists (David Bradley, Frederick Buechner, Mary Gordon, and Hugh Nissenson), a poet (Allen Ginsberg), and a religious historian (Jaroslav Pelikan) -- "men and women from various points of God's compass"-- for a lecture series that was originally published in 1988 as Spiritual Quests: The Art and Craft of Religious Writing (now out of print). Ten years later, he broadened the book by adding three more writers to the pool: Diane Ackerman, Patricia Ha ...more
Henry Sturcke
Sep 14, 2015 Henry Sturcke rated it really liked it
One of the four Zinsser-curated anthologies arising from lectures given at the New York Public Library. Once again, Zinsser asked his chosen speakers to discuss not so much the "how-to" as the "how I did". The result in this collection was for me a mixed bag. One of my favorite writers, Frederick Buechner, delivered a variation of his recurrent theme, the uniqueness and (as unlikely as it sometimes seems) godliness of each of our lives. Many of the other writers were new to me, I'm eager to read ...more
Dec 10, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it
I chose 4 of the essays to read. Patricia Hampl's "Crying Out in Silence" was a little longer than it needed to be, but gave the impetus and strategy for writing her book "Virgin Time", on the difference between pilgrimage and retreat, the expectation and likely outcome of each, and how she devised her book as well as selecting her locations for research around each concept.
I read David Bradley's "Bringing Down the Fire", Jaroslav Pelikan's "Writing as a Means of Grace" as well.

Diane Ackerman in
♥ Ibrahim ♥
This is not the best book of Zinser's. I am disappointed. It is a collection of essays in which he has a good introduction but still he never showed how spirituality could factor in creativity. This book is merely a reference tool. You take a look. Read what you want and put it back on the shelf, but it is not a book that will inspire you particularly in writing. The bottomline is, master your craft as writing is just a craft and let all this be clothed with your spirituality, if you want, but ...more
lee lee
Oct 14, 2009 lee lee added it
Shelves: memoir, on-writing
i've only read one essay in this book--the one by patricia hampl called "Crying Out in Silence" but it was really good and one day i will read more. in the meantime, i'll just re-read Hampl's memoir Virgin Time. soooooooo good. soooooooo much better than that other memoir about someone's spiritual quest.
Brian Johnson
Sep 29, 2014 Brian Johnson rated it really liked it
This book is a series of essays on the connection between spirituality and writing. While the essays are a bit uneven, there is something of value in all of them. I found Frederick Buechner's essay to be profound and helpful, as was Pelikan's.
Tamara Hill Murphy
Feb 01, 2016 Tamara Hill Murphy rated it it was ok
While I found several of the contributing authors a bit "mushy" in their written spirituality, overall this was an encouraging book for those of us wishing to write from the perspective of our faith.
Mark Lacy
Not bad. The only one of these essays I really didn't care for was Allan Ginsberg's. It simply made no sense to me. I had no idea what point he was trying to make as he connected all different kinds of things.
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Goodreads Librari...: combine editions? 3 16 Sep 04, 2015 06:06AM  
William Knowlton Zinsser is an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He began his career as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked as a feature writer, drama editor, film critic, and editorial writer. He has been a longtime contributor to leading magazines.
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