Let Us Build Us a City

Let Us Build Us a City, published by Crux:  The Georgia Series in Literary Nonfiction, reads like a master class on writing as practice, while performing a deep reading of art and life and looking to discern why liberal education matters so much to our society.

“[This is] the kind of book that you read slowly.  The kind of book that invites travels of the mind . . . On its surface, this is a collection of essays of literary criticism . . . but the essays go far beyond that.  As Daugherty muses about Hawthorne’s old houses, Dante’s imaginative cosmology, and the patterns of our thoughts as we dismantle the lives of our dying loved ones, he explores the nature of creative practice and its place within American culture.  How the act of creation contains, within it, the possibility of failure.  About the role of liberal arts education in our culture.  And ultimately, how we create and build our community.”–Connie Bennett, KLCC, National Public Radio, 8/3/18.

“Drawing from some of the most influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, Daugherty poses questions that face anyone engaged in the arts today.  These thoughtful, deeply considered, and provocative essays encourage the reader to engage with the unknown, to embrace ‘the mystery and power of creating new worlds,’ and to take part in building what Daugherty calls ‘a creative and imaginatively generous society’–exactly the sort of society we should all aspire to.”–Peter Turchi.

“Tracy Daugherty has worked up . . . a miracle:  a Baedeker to the city of storytelling.  Amid the confounding boulevards and alleyways of fiction, Daugherty’s guide is like nothing else out there, rangy and profound . . . The journey always proves fascinating, whether the landmarks are Dante or Sherwood Anderson, Ptolemy or Grace Paley.  An essential text for anyone susceptible to the magic of stories long or short.”–John Domini.