In A Beginner’s Faith in Things Unseen John Hay writes from the vantage point of eighty, and like no other American writer on what he calls “the real world.”
Hay returns to memories of a boyhood divided between Manhattan and the deep woods of Sunapee, New Hampshire, to a time when he knew “one should always be outdoors, with the unregistered and the unsigned.” He writes with precision and beauty of pilot whale strandings on Cape Cod’s Outer Beach—and of the attendant human confusion and greed—and of the sweep of a century in which “our modern, owned world is going deaf from listening to its own answers.” Hay keeps company with Maine barn swallows and finds in the Lakota Sioux Grass Dance a way to listen to the wind. Always, through often uncannily affecting language, John Hay shows us just which ceremonies we all must attend to.
About the Author
John Hay (1915-2011) is the author of The Great Beach (winner of the John Burroughs Prize), The Run, and A Beginner’s Faith in Things Unseen, among many other books.