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Nancy Nordenson—Finding Livelihood: A Progress of Work and Leisure

About the Book: 

What do you want to be when you grow up? The answers were our childhood dreams. The reality of adulthood is that what we are and do now is what we became. Finding Livelihood is a book about work for grown-ups. It’s about not just the work we thought we wanted but about the work we found and the work that found us. It’s also about the work we have lost.

At once a shrewd challenge of Buechner’s assertion that “the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” and also a lyrical journey to the place where labor and love meet, Finding Livelihood explores the tensions between the planned life and the given, between desire and need, between aspirations and limits.
Drawing from thinkers as diverse as St. Aquinas, Josef Pieper, and Simone Weil, Nordenson affirms the doctrine of Imago Dei and brings it into the real world of work: a world full of brokenness and hope, of dead-end jobs and live-saving interventions, of daily bread and transcendent meaning.

About the Author: 

Nancy Nordenson is a full-time medical writer and also the author of Finding Livelihood: A Progress of Work and Leisure (Kalos Press, 2015), a contemplative exploration of the working life. Her writing has appeared in Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Indiana Review, Comment, Under the Sun, Relief, and in other publications and anthologies, including Becoming: What Makes a Woman (University of Nebraska Gender Studies) and The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God (Cascade). Her work has earned multiple "notable" recognitions in the Best American Essays and Best Spiritual Writing anthologies and Pushcart Prize nominations. Nancy lives in Minneapolis; her website is 

Praise for Finding Livlihood: 

“Nordenson describes wrestling with work.... Can one wrestle meditatively? This author has learned the art and we are the benefactors.” –Luci Shaw, Author, Adventure of Ascent: Field Notes from a Lifelong Journey and Scape: Poems

“Written with a rare wit and elegance, Finding Livelihood offers a profound, often surprising reflection on the necessity of earning our daily bread. This fine new collection...includes some of the best essays I’ve read in years." –Paula Huston, Author, The Holy Way

“Finding Livelihood is a breath of radical honesty.... Nordenson does not fear the long dark night shift of the soul, but neither does she accept it." –Marcus Goodyear, Editor, The High Calling

"This book is a revelation." –Leslie Leyland Fields, Author, Surviving the Island of Grace; Contributing Editor, Christianity Today

“Finding Livelihood is deeply felt and deeply satisfying to the reader. Nordenson grapples with hard questions and avoids easy answers.” –Emilie Griffin; Author, The Reflective Executive and Souls in Full Sail

“Nordenson's prose is beautifully polished, lucid, and imaginative." –Gregory Wolfe; Editor, Image Journal; Author, Beauty Will Save The World