How Dante Can Save Our Lives
Rod Dreher is a writer, blogger, and senior editor at The American Conservative magazine. His work focuses on cultural themes and issues in American life, especially religion. Among other things, he has been a film critic and columnist for the New York Post, an editor and columnist at the Dallas Morning News, an a writer for National Review magazine. He is the author of two books, Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and its Return to Roots (2006), and The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (2013). His next book, How Dante Can Save Your Life, will be published in 2015. Dreher lives with his wife and children in Starhill, Louisiana.
After 30 years living away, Rod Dreher returned to his south Louisiana hometown in 2011, after the death of his sister Ruthie. He expected a family reunion and a happy ending, but discovered a dark family secret that shattered his hopes, and sent him into depression and physical illness. Doctors told Dreher he had to find inner peace, or he would destroy his health. Browsing in a bookstore, a chance encounter with Dante's Divine Comedy lured Dreher, who rarely reads fiction, into the medieval epic, in which the pilgrim Dante treks out of his own middle-aged "dark wood," and finds a rich new life. Following Dante through the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise, Dreher emerged from his own personal crisis with newfound health and a new outlook on life. In his own Dante journey, Dreher discovered that a 700-year-old literary classic that is more admired than read is actually a treasure trove of insight and practical wisdom entirely relevant to 21st century readers. Dreher tells audiences how the truth and beauty inside the greatest self-help book ever written changed -- indeed saved -- his own life, and how it can do the same for them.
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