A Sense of Wonder

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"While the spiritual may be hard to describe 'except with such ephemeral gossamer murk as epiphany, or awakening or shiver of the heart,' notes editor Doyle, this essay collection demonstrates how effectively good writers can capture wonder within human existence, with little or no murk whatsoever.... With his keen eye for excellent spiritual writing, explicitly religious or not, Doyle offers an array of choices that may, in his words, 'open the most stunning doors.' " -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An anthology of 37 astonishing personal stories and essays from some of America's best writers that first appeared in Portland Magazine, “the best university magazine in America” (Newsweek) and “the best spiritual magazine in the country" (Annie Dillard).


Ian Frazier

Mary Gordon

David James Duncan

Mary Oliver

Barry Lopez

Pico Iyer

Cynthia Ozick

Edward Hoagland

William Stafford

Thomas Lynch

Paul Hawken

and many more

Brian Doyle (1956-2017) was the long-time editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, Oregon. Among his many books are the novels Mink River, The Plover, and Martin Marten, as well as collections of essays and poems including How the Light Gets In: And Other Headlong Epiphanies, also from Orbis. He received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008; previous recipients include Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, and Mary Oliver.

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Book Details

A Sense of Wonder
The World's Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane, and the Ordinary
Brian Doyle
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A Sense of Wonder Table of Contents 167 Kb