A Smaller Circle: The Search for Community
I was commissioned by London publisher Random Century to write A Smaller Circle: The search for community in 1991. The commissioning editor, Tessa Strickland, left and cofounded Barefoot Books. I moved to the United States with my two young children and was unable to finish the book on schedule, which led to its being canceled because Tessa was no longer there to shepherd it. She sent me the woodcut she’d commissioned for the cover. When I saw it I was rather glad the whole thing had been canceled because that bucolic vision wasn’t really the story I had to tell. (Not to mention all those cows! Even then I knew about cows producing methane gas that contributed to climate change.) The research led to the creation of the Encyclopedia of Community, to my work on third places, and our search for community continues to be a central interest of mine.