A writer studies a famous work of art and finds herself and her own cultural moment revealed at its heart.
Jeannie Marshall lived in Rome for ten years without visiting the Sistine Chapel: she didn’t want to have a superficial experience of the frescos, but she wasn’t sure how, amidst the crowds of tour groups and the noise of pop culture allusions, she could have anything but. What’s more, she wondered what this very old, very Catholic art, created by a man who grew up under the warm Tuscan sun of the Renaissance, could possibly have to say to a modern woman raised in the New World by a family in retreat from Christianity—and what could it say to any of us living in the twenty-first century.
All Things Move is Marshall’s story of her intentional encounter with one of the world’s most cherished artworks and an impassioned defence of the role of art in our lives. A personal account of finding meaning, and a model for how to engage deeply with the past, All Things Move is a quietly sublime meditation on how art, once invested with the power to save our souls, can enlarge our lives if only we learn how to look.
Praise for All Things Move
“All Things Move is not just another book, written in clear and lively sentences that anyone will want to read, detailing the history and creation of one of the greatest works of art known to mankind. It’s a book that actually operates in the opposite direction—a book about how we experience that work of art, and why the experience is so unforgettable. Michelangelo made a great and lasting work of art that changed history. But in Marshall’s gifted hands, our experience of it becomes an adventure and a work of art in its own right. This is a book about discovery, unlike anything you have read before.”
—Ian Brown, author of Man Overboard
“In the manner of the late W. G. Sebald, who shattered sundry barriers in his writing, Jeannie Marshall has produced a prose poem, a deeply personal, multi-layered, and thoroughly captivating meditation on art, spirituality, and life. I was both moved and enchanted.”
—Modris Eksteins, author of Solar Dance
Praise for Jeannie Marshall
“Marshall’s clear, direct book ably captures the frustrations of trying to find the healthiest path and inspiring kids to do the same.”
“Marshall … writes passionately about the dangers posed by processed foods—not just to our children’s health but to our way of life, our human attachment to the ‘ordinary happiness’ of meals cooked at home from real foods.”
“Engaging … admirably well-researched … a well-timed eye-opener.”
—Chris Nuttal-Smith, Globe and Mail
“Outside the Box is about teaching kids how to appreciate real food but also about how globalization is changing the way the world eats. In this beautifully written book about what needs to be done to preserve food culture in Italy and elsewhere, Marshall makes the political personal as she explains how she is teaching her son to enjoy the pleasures of eating food prepared, cooked and lovingly shared by friends and family.”
—Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics