Get Your Free Audiobook

At the Center of All Beauty

Solitude and the Creative Life
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins

Non-member price: $24.37

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A profound meditation on accepting and celebrating one's solitude.

Solitude is the inspirational core for many writers, artists, and thinkers. Alone with our thoughts, we can make discoveries that matter not only to us but to others. To be solitary is not only to draw sustenance from being alone, but to know that our ultimate responsibility is not only to our partner or our own offspring, but to a larger community. 

Fenton Johnson's lyrical prose and searching sensibility explores what it means to choose to be solitary and celebrates the notion that solitude is a legitimate and dignified calling. He delves into the lives and works of nearly a dozen iconic "solitaries" he considers his kindred spirits, from Thoreau at Walden Pond and Emily Dickinson in Amherst, to Bill Cunningham photographing the streets of New York, from Cezanne (married, but solitary nonetheless) painting Mt. St. Victoire over and over again, to the fiercely self-protective Zora Neale Hurston. Each character portrait is full of intense detail, the bright wakes they've left behind illuminating Fenton Johnson's own journey from his childhood in the backwoods of Kentucky to his travels alone throughout the world and the people he has lost and found along the way.

©2020 Fenton Johnson (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about At the Center of All Beauty

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Lamun
  • J. Lamun
  • 02-06-2020

A Memoir Of Sorts

Fenton Johnson uses his memoir expertise to explain and celebrate solitudes and the destinies we create. As an artist, I continuously search for process and practice. Fenton reminds us that in the silence of solitude we find more ideas, more character and a clearer sense of oneness and community. Contemplation in solitude is beautiful and necessary; if for a time, or a lifetime.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Henry
  • A. Henry
  • 25-05-2020

Stunning and reflective

This is a book I wish I had available to me when I was a senior in high school. I wonder of it would have changed my life. The reader does a wonderful job, as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon I.
  • Simon I.
  • 14-04-2020

literary gem

memoir at its best. thought provoking and analytical. who knew there were so many solitaries.