- 115,00 kr
“In these soaring, open-hearted essays, Vanessa Zoltan writes with fierce brilliance about suffering, survival, and the kind of meaning in life that can withstand real scrutiny.”—John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and The Anthropocene Reviewed
A deeply felt celebration of a classic novel--and a reflection on the ways our favorite books can shape and heal us.
Our favorite books keep us company, give us hope, and help us find meaning in a chaotic world. In this fresh and relatable work, atheist chaplain Vanessa Zoltan blends memoir and personal growth as she grapples with the notions of family legacy and identity through the lens of her favorite novel, Jane Eyre. Informed by the reading practices of medieval monks and rabbinic scholars from her training at the Harvard Divinity School and filtered through the pages of Jane Eyre as well as Little Women, Harry Potter, and The Great Gatsby, Zoltan explores topics ranging from the trauma she has inherited as the granddaughter of four Holocaust survivors to finding hope, meaning, and even magic in our deeply fractured times. Brimming with a lifelong love of classic literature and the tenderness of self-reflection, the book also reveals simple techniques for reading any work as a sacred text--from Virginia Woolf to Anne of Green Gables to baseball scorecards.
Whether you're an avowed "Eyrehead" or simply a curious reader looking for a richer connection with the written word, this deeply felt and inspiring book will light the way to a more intimate appreciation for whatever books you love to read.
Zoltan, an atheist chaplain, combines memoir, literary criticism, and her own brand of spirituality in her intriguing debut. A self-proclaimed atheist Jew, Zoltan entered divinity school to learn how to pray and reflect on the surprises that life presents. Rather than the Bible, she found classic literature to be her greatest inspiration, and here shares "sermons" on how it and notably the novel Jane Eyre can teach lessons about fear, commitment, kindness, destiny, resentment, and love. Among other things, Zoltan ruminates on the inevitability of heartbreak and betrayal between men and women using the scene of superintendent Miss Temple coming to find Jane Eyre for supposed indiscretions. The author also explores the importance of follow-through when one commits to lofty goals within Jane Eyre's defiant response to being questioned about how to avoid hell ("I must keep in good health and not die") and the importance of restraint and compassion when one is in love. Fans of Jane Eyre in particular will relish Zoltan's ideas for thinking deeply about the morals and metaphors within this classic novel.