In a world of internet friendships, far-flung families, and a growing sense of alienation in American life, Bill Henderson tells the story of how he found community and joyful camaraderie through the singing of old-fashioned hymns in a small wood-frame country church.
Bill Henderson is the author of a novel, The Kid That Could, and three memoirs, including, most recently, Tower: Faith, Vertigo, and Amateur Construction. He is the publisher and founder of PushcartPress and editor of the acclaimed Pushcart Prize series. He lives on Long Island and in Maine with his wife and daughter and is an elder in the Springs Community Presbyterian Church on Long Island.
"Hymns are to the ear what incense is to the nose: a sense of something beyond rational experience. If this is as true for you as it is for me, you will love this book." -- Peter J. Gomes, The Memorial Church, Harvard University, author of The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart
"I love your book, Simple Gifts. It is wholehearted, goodhearted, and extraordinarily moving -- to me and I'm sure to anybody who treasures the best of the old hymns." -- Wendell Berry, in a letter to the author, quoted with permission
"Simple Gifts provides a wonderful service." -- Chicago Tribune
"Days after reading this book I find many of the melodies and words humming in my brain." -- The American Catholic
"Ardent, vivid, and compelling...Simple Gifts is a wonderful celebration." -- The East Hampton Star
"Powerful...thoughtful consideration of [Henderson's] life and the role hymns have played in it." -- Publishers Weekly