Scott Russell Sanders


Imagination breaks the shell of the status quo, summoning up objects that do not yet exist, actions that no one has yet performed, and wiser ways of living. It powers art, science, and all forms of human creativity. My new book seeks to show how imagination might guide us through the current social and environmental upheaval, as climate heating, epidemic diseases, divisive politics, and loss of biodiversity alter our place on the planet and our lives together.

Praise for The Way of Imagination

"A profoundly humane essayist, novelist, and nature writer finds glimmers of hope for a world in peril . . . What sets this collection apart is the manner in which he connects these crises and, even in his most despairing moments, assays our capacity for change . . . The author is no Pollyanna, but he puts his trust in our individual and collective imagination--not just science or the more benign tenets of religion--to conceive of and walk a more constructive path . . . Changing attitudes is our most difficult task. Sanders, an insightful guide, knows we have no choice but to try."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A comfort . . . It tells patiently and carefully the truth as you have troubled to know it and to live with it. I like your title, The Way of Imagination, by which you announce your commitment to a thoroughness contrary to the bad motives of anger, fear, and hate. Most of all, I am grateful for your refusal to single out one of our interdependent great problems as the most urgent. I take this as a courtesy to the likelihood that we can't solve one of those problems, all rooted in our habitual violence, without solving them all." --Wendell Berry, in a letter to the author

"Scott Russell Sanders is an honest man in a time of lies, a wise man in a time of foolishness, a healer in a time of wounds, and a beautiful writer in a time of ugly rants. His new book thus offers both solace and inspiration. Like Loren Eiseley or Rachel Carson, Sanders begins with the natural world and leads readers into the moral world, where wondering love becomes an urgent call to care." --Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising

"To read Scott Russell Sanders is to be nourished by a thoughtful mind, a profoundly articulate voice, and a kind soul speaking from the American heartland. These essays praise the good long work of his life, inquiring into the sources of our destructive behaviors and the wellsprings of healing in the imagination. In speaking of both ecological and familial grief, Sanders brings to the fore his deep faith in our capacity to reimagine the human story." --Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit