Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, writer and activist William Powers visited Dr. Jackie Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgled through Bentons permaculture farm, and she stroked honeybees wings as she shared her wildcrafter philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, then accepted Bentons offer to stay at the cabin for a season while she traveled. There, he befriended her eclectic neighbors organic farmers, biofuel brewers, eco-developers and discovered a sustainable but imperiled way of life.
In these pages, Powers not only explores this small patch of community but draws on his international experiences with other pockets of resistance. This engrossing tale of Powerss struggle for a meaningful life with a smaller footprint proposes a paradigm shift to an elusive Soft World with clues to personal happiness and global healing.
An honest, courageous, and authentic tale of one gifted writers attempt to find balance in a world in crisis. Reading this deeply human book has helped me to find a more genuine peace in the midst of the craziness.
John Robbins, author of The New Good Life and Diet for a New America
In this quiet, startling adventure, William Powers brings two worlds into focus simultaneously. He helps us see with fresh eyes the stultifying ugliness, homogeneity, and bankruptcy of a growth-addicted culture. And, at the same time, he helps us rediscover the beauty and liberation that radical simplicity can bring. In his engaging company, we look into the lives of sly, unobtrusive heroes who are building the new in the shell of the old.
Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: New World Library (May 4, 2010)