While undergoing treatments to fight lung cancer, Wangerin wrote these letters and meditations in which he details the many facets of surviving the disease and confronting his own mortality. 199 pages, hardcover.
In Letters from the Land of Cancer, award-winning writer Walter Wangerin Jr. offers his profound insights into the greatest challenge we face: confronting our own mortality. 'Shortly after the cancer had been diagnosed I began writing letters to the members of my immediate family, to relatives and to lifelong friends. The following book will consist mostly of those letters. They will invite you into my most intimate dancing with the cancer, even as that partner and I have over the last two years swung each other around the tiled floors of ballrooms and bathrooms. Dizzy still, and day by day, I sat and wrote: This is what I'm feeling right now. This is what I think....' From afternoon to afternoon of radiation, Wangerin wrote about confronting his mortality, about living with the messiness of undone tasks and bodily weakness. He wrote about the medical procedures he endured, the wild mood swings that unbalanced his days, and the fragilities and strengths of the relationships that surrounded him. Letters from the Land of Cancer is made up of these writings. Cadenced within the letters are Wangerin's eloquent meditations derived from his pastoral experiences with the faithful passage of death to life. Seldom has the great adventure of life and death been as beautifully presented as it is in this testimony to faith, love, and the shocking reality of hope.
Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the millions. The author of over forty books, Wangerin has won the National Book Award, New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year Award, and several Gold Medallions, including best-fiction awards for both The Book of God and Paul: A Novel. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he is Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University. SPANISH BIO: Walter Wangerin Jr. es reconocido como uno del mejor escritor sobre las aplicaciones la fe y la espiritualidad. Su libros incluyen The Book of God [El libro de Dios], Reliving the Pasion [Recuerdo de la Pasion], Peter's First Easter [El Primer Domigo de Resureccionde Pedro], Mourning into Dancing [Como Cambiar el Lamento en Baile], The Manger is Empty [El Pesebre Vacio] y Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? [ Quien te hizo, Corderito?]. Wangerin vive en Valparaiso, Indiana, ocupa la catedra Jochum en la Universidad de Valparaiso, donde es escritor residente.
The prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully, wrote essayist Samuel Johnson. In the case of prolific writer and teacher Wangerin (Saint Julian), a diagnosis of lung cancer drove Wangerin not to despair but rather to writing, his usual mode of making sense of things. He tells his family its an adventure; cancer is his wrestling with God and the big questions, as mortality gets right up in his face. A series of 22 lettersaddressed mostly to friends to convey news of his progressand seven meditations recapitulate the long, pain-filled journey through chemotherapy and radiation treatment so strong it eventually, literally, takes his breath away, diminishing tumors and lung capacity. Wangerins detailing is concrete, from the joy of touching his grandchilds finger to the who-knew? myriad changes wrought by mortal illness. Faith may be his armor, but he is no noble knight, revealing peevishness, arrogance, self-absorption. No one speaks from the other side, but Wangerin, his cancer now sleeping, has gone before us with fierce honesty, peering over the edge and reporting. (Feb.)Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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