Norris Returns With “Acedia and Me”

Kathleen Norris’s new book, Acedia and Me, is coming in just a few weeks.

A new book by Norris is always a reason to celebrate, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this one. I ordered mine from Eighth Day Books.

Publisher’s Weekly’s Starred Review:

In this penetrating theological memoir, Norris (The Cloister Walk) details her relationship with acedia, a slothful, soul-weary indifference long recognized by monastics. Norris is careful to distinguish acedia from its cousin, depression, noting that acedia is a failure of the will and can be dispelled by embracing faith and life, whereas depression is not a choice and often requires medical treatment. This is tricky ground, but Norris treads gingerly, reserving her acerbic crankiness for a section where she convincingly argues that despite Americans’ apparently unslothful lives, acedia is the undiagnosed neurasthenia of our busy age. Much of the book is taken up with Norris’s account of her complicated but successful marriage, which ended with her husband’s death in 2003. The energy poured into this marriage, Norris argues, was as much a defiant strike against acedia as her spiritual discipline of praying the Psalms. Filled with gorgeous prose, generous quotations from Christian thinkers across the centuries and fascinating etymological detours, this discomfiting book provides not just spiritual hope but a much-needed kick in the rear. (Sept. 16) “”
Copyright ¬© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.”

Here’s a review at Christianity Today.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • besidethequeue

    Eighth Day is fantastic! The people there are wonderful and their collection is unique and complete.

    They had a table at our conference this summer.

  • andrewpeterson

    I make it a point to stop by Eighth Day every time I’m in Wichita. Great bookstore. And I’ve had Dakota (my first Norris book) on my shelf for a few months now, waiting to be read. Can’t wait.