Essays 2016–2019

Available at Schuler Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Hardcover: $24.99
Paperback: $16.99

In this collection of essays, forty-four Calvin University graduates under thirty years old share the most interesting and intimate parts of their twenty-first-century lives.

They stride into the fallout of their purity culture childhoods. They share their alcoholism, chronic illnesses, and miscarriages. They canoe the most dan­gerous river in Michigan, build com­munities out of dating apps, and delight in the not-so-simple joys of cooking.

Montaigne, the father of the personal essay, confessed, “Many things that I would not care to tell any individual man I tell to the public, and for knowledge of my most secret thoughts, I refer my most loyal friends to a bookseller’s stall.” These writers carry on in Montaigne’s honest tradition. Scattered across the world—Grand Rapids to Manhattan, Honduras to Germany—they take us into their confidence and get political, religious, and personal. They talk about Trump, guns, and being queer. Some reject Christianity; others become clergy. Friends die in this book. Babies are born. Some writers get married (for better and worse), and others stay single. It’s all on the table.

This collection has an expansive range that mirrors the sprawl of millennial life. But “sprawl” suggests laziness, and the lives in these pages are anything but. These writers are searching, striving, failing, learning, and sometimes succeeding—all the while trying to make things better, even if they don’t agree what “better” really is.

“‘The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand,’ Annie Dillard writes in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. It is that world full of unexpected riches that the short essays in the post calvin will share, in small and shining denominations, with readers, lending them both its wisdom and laughter, both its uncertainties and truths. Indeed, this book is the work of many generous hands.”

—Calvin English Department Faculty

Essays by

Alissa (Goudswaard) Anderson
Sadie Burgher
Matt Cambridge
Matt Coldagelli
India Daniels
Josh deLacy Editor
Ben DeVries
Tony Ditta
Gwyneth Findlay
Caitlin Gent
Jenna Griffin
Gabe Gunnink
Olivia Harre
Lauren (Boersma) Harris
Mary Margaret Healy
Andrew Knot
Cotter Koopman
Catherine Kramer
Geneva Langeland
Julia LaPlaca
Paula Manni Illustrator
Matt Medendorp
Rebekah (Williamson) Medendorp
Nick Meekhof
Paul Menn
Will Montei Editor
Carolyn Muyskens
Caroline (Higgins) Nyczak
Andrew Orlebeke
Josh Parks
Katerina Parsons
Jeffrey Peterson
Ben Rietema
Jacob Schepers
Meg Schmidt
Elaine Schnabel
Emily Joy Stroble
Bart Tocci
Jack Van Allsburg
Katie Van Zanen
Cassie Westrate
Courtney Zonnefeld
Abby Zwart Editor
Brad Zwiers
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