Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow

A Novel

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
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"Jayber Crow, born in Goforth, Kentucky, orphaned at age ten, began his search as a "pre-ministerial student" at Pigeonville College." "Eventually, after the flood of 1937, Jayber becomes the barber of the small community of Port William, Kentucky. From behind that barber chair he lives out the questions that drove him from seminary and begins to accept the gifts of community that enclose his answers. The chair gives him a perfect perch from which to listen, to talk, and to see, as life spends itself all around. In this novel full of remarkable characters, he tells his story that becomes the story of his town and its transcendent membership."--Jacket.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, c2000
ISBN: 9781582430294
1582430292
9781582431604
1582431604
Characteristics: 363 p. ; 24 cm

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dennismmiller
Feb 09, 2018

For decades Jonah Crow (aka J Crow, aka J Bird, aka Jayber) was the barber in the small town of Port William, Kentucky. As he himself says, a barber is a magnet for stories, especially in the kind of small town where his shop serves as one of the few social spaces. In addition, Jayber served for years as the church custodian and gravedigger, giving him even more opportunities to know the people of the town, and to share in their living and dying. He is, however, also something of an outsider, being both an orphan, raised and educated elsewhere, and a lifelong bachelor. The novel is the story of how he comes to understand his own living and dying through the trials and travails, virtues and vices of those around him.

Jayber Crow, the novel, is as charming and unpretentious as its protagonist, likewise it is just as patient and unexpectedly deep - unexpected, at least, for those unfamiliar with Berry's other work. For those who do know Berry, his usual themes are masterfully elaborated here - love of neighbor and care for the earth, the importance of community and sense of place, the reality of a cosmic order and the sacredness of work.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Berry is a Kentucky farmer, a cultural critic, and a prolific writer whose “Port William” fiction has been compared to Faulkner’s Mississippi. In this quietly touching novel, a man looks back on his difficult but full life and the transitions of the 20th century as felt in his small Kentucky town. A classic.

j
jitterbugjack
Sep 11, 2013

This novel is a beautiful reflection on life, mortality, and nature from a master of prose, poetry, and fiction.

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