Welcome to Respondeo Books! We want to hear and encourage responses to the world. It is our experience that there are moments when, in answer to something outside, an unexpected part of us wakes up and is moved to speak or write or paint or sing or generally to take off in new directions. Those moments offer light on the world, we believe, inventing new ways to be human.
Such a moment happened to me while I was teaching at a high school in Beijing, China. My job there was to help Chinese students accustom themselves to the kind of education they would meet in the United States, in which students are asked to offer their own opinions. This was in contrast to the kind of education they were used to, which consisted entirely of lectures and tests. Together we learned how to respond out of our hearts and minds to the Western classic books I gave them to read. Finding our way to those new directions was an open journey, full of initial silences and then passionate exchange. I wrote about that journey in Books without Borders: Homer, Aeschylus, Galileo, Melville and Madison Go to China.
The view from Respondeo Books in Santa Fe
Respondeo Books offers other journeys of response, too. Philip LeCuyer’s book of poetry, Solos and Ensembles, lets us listen in on moments of humanity. Fred Abramowitz’ Travels in Africa: A Year By Land Rover through the Great Continent offers an observer’s eye responding with light and sympathy to people and places. J. Scott Lee’s Invention: the Art of Liberal Arts defends the importance of the responses to the world given by great artists inventing understanding.
Respondeo books is a place for inventions. Our hope is to increase response, vulnerability and truthful conversation. Join us!