Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781783608799 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783608805 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only

A Jar of Wild Flowers

Essays in Celebration of John Berger

Edited by Yasmin Gunaratnam and Amarjit Chandan

A Jar of Wild Flowers

Edited by Yasmin Gunaratnam and Amarjit Chandan

Distributed for Zed Books

300 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781783608799 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783608805 Published November 2016 For sale in North and South America only
In celebration of the ninetieth birthday of eminent artist and writer John Berger, AJar of Wild Flowers brings together essays, reflections, and conversations about his work. For decades, Berger’s poetic humanism has inspired and brought together historically, geographically, and socially disparate subjects. His work continues to unite genres and range across types of experience, opening up radical questions about the meaning of belonging and community. In keeping with this spirit, the contributions to A Jar of Wild Flowers challenge us to take the brave step outside ourselves to offer extended generosity and compassion.
 
This international and cross-cultural collection includes short pieces by thirty of Berger’s friends, artistic collaborators, and others inspired by his work, including Julie Christie, Sally Potter, Ram Rahman, Ali Smith, Nick Thorpe, Hsiao-Hung Pai, and many others. This will be an anthology to be treasured by any fan of Berger’s extensive and influential ouevre. 
 
Contents
List of figures
Acknowledgements
Foreword— Jean Mohr
Preface— Amarjit Chandan
 
Introduction— Yasmin Gunaratnam
 
The Colour of the Cosmos
Graphite— Hans Jürgen Balmes
Hay— Rema Hammami and John Berger
Fire— Kathryn Yusoff
Milk— Ana Amália Alves
Blood— Gavin Francis
Forest— Nikos Papastergiadis
Toast— Michael Broughton
Oil— Tessa McWatt
 
The Trees Are in Their Place
Fences— Nick Thorpe
Method— Iain Chambers
Life— Glenn Jordon
Meetings— Nirmal Puwar
Pain— Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián
Secrets— Hsiao-Hung Pai
 
Once Through a Lens
Memory— Heather Vrana
Stars— Vikki Bell
Conscience— Ram Rahman
Performance— Doa Aly
A Mirror— Rashmi Duraiswamy
 
Undefeated Despair
Trauma— Alicia Salomone
Jest— Salima Hashmi
Hate— Mustafa Dikeç
Hope— Malathi de Alwis
Spirit— Tania Tamari Nasir
Propaganda— Rochelle Simmons
 
Here is Where We Meet
Notes— Amarjit Chandan
Verbs— Ali Smith
Play— N. Rajyalakshmi interviews
                Pushpamala N.
Tenderness— Christina Linardaki
Love— Julie Christie
Courage— Yahia Yakhlef
Solidarity— Ambalavaner Sivanandan
Tennis— John Christie
Afterword— Sally Potter
About the editors and contributors
 
Review Quotes
The Guardian
"Berger's most tangible influences were that tiny band of intellectuals who combined fine-art criticism with a social conscience: John Ruskin; Oscar Wilde; Walter Benjamin. Great writers all, and 82-year-old Berger is their equal."
New Statesman
"Berger's republished works underscore that it is still very much possible, even long after the heyday of literary modernism has passed, to be formally adventurous and deeply readable, sharply critical of the status quo and unremittingly humane—all at the same time."
Financial Times
"Berger’s gift was always to make wild, enlightening connections, darting between centuries and genres, anchoring aesthetic response within his own experiences of urban and rural life."
Slate
"In Berger’s hands, then, art itself is a kind of criticism. It 'cannot be used to explain the mysterious,' only to make the mysterious 'easier to notice.' For all that he has written, his genius is evident not in what he says of art, but in his ability to amplify its many voices."
Arundhati Roy, author of Capitalism: A Ghost Story
“Berger has made the world a better place to live in. I do not say this lightly. These essays tell us how he succeeded in that task.”
Anne Michaels
“An outstanding celebration of the commitment, compassion, and fierceness of John’s generosity in his life and work. For decades, Berger has sought the heart of things and given strength. Come to this beautiful book for solidarity, for vision, and the affirmation that some voices are so true they must be heard.”
Suad Amiry
“Like Berger himself: remarkable in every sense. This collection is expansive, intimate, sensuous, poetic, and political. A book that enriches the soul.”
Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient
“The essays in this collection speak to the great range of Berger’s writing that time and again reveals a crucial and often unspoken history of our times.”
 
Daily Telegraph
“Berger’s archive testifies to his lifelong interest in the collaborative possibilities of letter-writing.”
 
The Conversation
“He knew very well that writing has its limitations. By itself, writing cannot rebalance the inequities of the present or establish new ways of seeing. Yet he wrote with hope. He showed us in his work and—by example—other possibilities for living a life that was committed to criticising inequality, while celebrating the beauty in the world, giving attention to its colour, rhythm and joyous surprises. We remain endowed and indebted to him.”
 
The Wire
“Berger spoke to the viewer as an equal, taking us with him on a journey of captivating stories that made art theory come alive.”
 
Publishers Weekly
“The book brings together a choir of artistic collaborators, fans, and friends, which is a fitting tribute to someone whose talents run the gamut of intellectual and artistic. Here is a bricolage to celebrate the consummate bricoleur, a collection that—even with its contributors’ significant differences—still coheres in celebration and gratitude.”
 
New Statesman
“An almost preposterously internationalist Festschrift.”
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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