Author(s): William Powers
Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a 12' x 12' cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, Powers visits Dr. Ashley Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgles through Benton's permaculture farm and she strokes honey bees' wings as she shares her 'wildcrafter' philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, house sits here for a season, befriends the eclectic neighbors, and discovers a way of life under threat in opposition to the globalized American dream. How can a family's free-range chickens compete with the genetically modified birds at the nearby factory farm? Part Annie Dillard, part Bill McKibben, this is riveting armchair travel through a landscape rich with clues to personal and global healing.
"A penetrating account of what it's like to move to the margins in our particular time and place. It will make you think, hard."
-- Bill McKibben, author of "Deep Economy" and founder of 350.org
"An honest, courageous, and authentic tale of one gifted writer's attempt to find balance in a world in crisis. Reading this deeply human book has helped me to find a more genuine peace in the midst of the craziness."
-- John Robbins, author of "The New Good Life" and "Diet for a New America"
"In this quiet, startling adventure, William Powers brings two worlds into focus simultaneously. He helps us see with fresh eyes the stultifying ugliness, homogeneity, and bankruptcy of a growth-addicted culture. And, at the same time, he helps us rediscover the beauty and liberation that radical simplicity can bring. In his engaging company, we look into the lives of sly, unobtrusive heroes who are building the new in the shell of the old."
-- Joanna Macy, author of "World as Lover, World as Self"
"How much is enough? And what is really important? These are questions that William Powers runs into again and again in his time off the grid in the U.S. and overseas, but his humble and contemplative memoir handles them with freshness and honesty, recognizing that sometimes asking the questions is more important than finding the 'right' answers."
-- Lester R. Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute and author of "Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization"
"A true story of rediscovery of and reconnection with fundamental truths and values. Enchanting and heartwarming, "Twelve by Twelve" is a modern-day "Walden.""
-- Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
"Powers combines environmental writing in the vein of Thoreau with Zen, economics, warrior presence, and even a touch of dramas of the heart to present a holistic view of contemporary deliberate living. Readers interested in a simp