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The Nature of Generosity is at once a natural sequel to the acclaimed memoir Hole in the Sky and an entirely unique masterwork from one of the finest writers of the American West.
Taking as his topic the “ordinary yearning to take physical and emotional care,” William Kittredge embarks upon a literary and philosophical grand tour that explores the very core of who we are. Gathering stories, facts, and verse from ancient and modern times, this master writer of the West travels the globe—figuratively and literally—in search of the truth about what drives us to live as we do. Whether he’s recalling a childhood in Oregon, touring Europe, or studying photographs of Japanese gardens in a bookstore in New York City, Kittredge’s connections are as unexpected as they are inspiring. Shattering the myth that survival of the fittest means “survival of the violent, or the cruelest, or the selfish,” Kittredge imagines a world in which altruism dominates—and offers ample evidence that this is not an unreachable utopian ideal.
“[A]n unpredictable magnum opus, a daring and poetic polemic that challenges at every turn.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Synthesizes a lifetime’s worth of fears and hopes for the planet.”—New Age
“Fascinating and instructive.”—The Oregonian