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Who's Publishing What: The Seeker and the Monk

What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun? Mystic, monk and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions in the twentieth century. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today in The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton.

In her newest book, Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times.

As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship and love. She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it?

By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within — and even to love — this despairing and radiant world.

Sophfronia is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has appeared in TimePeopleO: The Oprah Magazine, and numerous other outlets. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published, she was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "one of the best writers of her generation." Her other books include Unforgivable LoveLove's Long Line and This Child of Faith. Scott holds degrees from Harvard and the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Sophfronia is the founding director of Alma College’s low residency MFA in creative writing program. A frequent speaker at writers’ conferences, she keynoted the 2020 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

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