WOUNDED PROPHET (A Portrait of Henri Nouwen) by Michael Ford
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Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, was one of the most beloved and important spiritual writers of the twentieth century. Since his death in 1996, his stature has only increased; and his books, including The Inner Voice of Love, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son, have become cherished classics. For thousands of readers around the world, Nouwen’s influence as a teacher and author is considered equal to, or greater than, that of the century’s great spiritual writers, C. S. Lewis and Thomas Merton.
Although Nouwen could be radically revealing about his personal thoughts and struggles, there are nonetheless gaps in our understanding of who he was.
With Wounded Prophet, readers are given the first extensive look into this man who touched so many, not only through his own words but, most powerfully, through the eyes of those around the world who knew Nouwen best. While researching this compelling biography, BBC producer Michael Ford conducted wide-ranging interviews with Nouwen’s friends, colleagues, and family members. What he discovered was far more compelling than what he had imagined: Though Nouwen was indeed the generous and loving man many thought he was, he was also never able to find consistent peace in his own life. Tormenting him were profound feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and loneliness. This portrait gives an honest and well-balanced account of Nouwen’s life that leaves no stone unturned, investigating his childhood, his family, his sexuality, and his life as a priest and member of the L’Arche Daybreak community in Toronto.
"Ford’s theological training allows him to engage Nouwen’s ideas and evaluate intelligently his place in the theological landscape, and he discusses Nouwen’s character and struggles with compassion and understanding." –Publishers Weekly
"Wounded Prophet shows Michael Ford himself not only capable in his field of fact-finding and reporting, but well grounded in understanding the terrain of spirituality and adept at maneuvering the complexity, ambiguity, the contradictions and elusiveness, the height and depth to be explored in a single human life. Above all, he displays that most desirable trait to be sought in biographers: total immersion in the subject of his study, complete honesty, and keen sensitivity in handling what belongs to another."–Robert Durback, America
"Ford concentrates on his declared aim of painting a portrait, [and] the book is eloquent, endearing, and convincing. Its brush strokes are both broad and detailed, the personality of its complex subject shining through as the eyes of a good portrait follow the viewer. Those who knew Henri Nouwen will meet him again; those who did not will make the acquaintance of a remarkable man."–Shirley du Boulay, The Tablet