Stephen JenkinsonSep 22, 2021
A Generation's Worth
Spirit Work While the Crisis Reigns
Orphan Wisdom 2021
Today I interview Stephen Jenkinson. Jenkinson has a new book. It's entitled A Generation's Worth: Spirit Work While the Crisis Reigns (Orphan Wisdom, 2021) and it's a rarity among books and, to my mind, authors. Jenkinson not only attempts to reckon with our current crisis in the midst of it, which would be challenge enough, but he also attempts to reckon with his previous work, asking the ballsy question: do the books that I've written in my life—does, in some part, my life's work—stand up to the pressures of this moment? Did I write anything that withstands the test of this time? This is, to my mind, a colossal demand that Jenkinson asks of himself. He's written books about money and soul, death and wisdom, matrimony and patrimony, and the role of elders in a culture bereft of them. In A Generation's Worth, Jenkinson isn't so much summing up these previous books as leaning in more deeply to the questions that animate them. And through these questions, these wonderings, as Jenkinson calls them, he asks us to lean more deeply into life—not life as we wish it or want it to be—but life as it is, life full of grief and mystery, full of rough gods and dark roads, life that, as he writes, "will prevail over lives, yours included."
Eric LeMay is on the creative writing faculty at Ohio University. He is the author of five books, most recently Remember Me. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.