Jane Brox’s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019 and explores the nuances of quiet - both forced and voluntary. Her previous book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm; Five Thousand Days Like This One, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American Essays, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She is currently on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program. In this interview, she speaks with Georgia Sparling. Find essays by Jane and more information on our episode page.
Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami from Spirituality & Health Magazine
Jane Brox is the author of several books, including Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives. Listen to Rabbi Rami and Jane Brox discuss silence, conversation, and talking about what really matters.
If silence could tell us a story about itself, what would it say?This could be the question that Jane Brox answers in her most recent book, Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements in Our Lives (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Brox is the award-winning author of several acclaimed works of literary nonfiction, including Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light and Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm.In her fascinating study, Brox explores how silence impacts people both as individuals and as communities, by considering how silence has shaped two of the most archetypal institutions in western society: the monastery and the penitentiary. But she also considers the ways in which silence has particularly impacted the lives of women — both inside and outside such institutions.Silence has always been important to my life, partly because I'm a writer and to me, there's never enough silence when I'm working. Not only when I'm working at the page, but before and afterwards — that's the place in which the work grows. — Jane BroxBrox offers us tremendous insight into how silence is critical to her process as a creative writer. Having first encountered silence in her childhood on a farm, she grew up to embrace the writer's life, and discovering how essential silence has been to her ability to think — and create — in a comprehensive way.She talks about having a long-standing appreciation for Thomas Merton, which led to her organizing her book around his story — and the story of an obscure nineteenth-century convict from America's first penitentiary. But she also looks at how women have experienced silence in some very different ways from men's experience of silence.What emerged for Brox was a deepened appreciation for just how complex the human relationship to silence really is — that a simplistic distinction between "imposed silence" (in the penitentiary) and "chosen silence" (in the monastery) simply does not adequately reveal just how nuanced the social history of silence truly is.Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode: Jane Brox, Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements in Our Lives Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light Jane Brox, Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm Jane Brox, Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History Jane Brox, Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and its Family Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas Thomas Merton, The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals Thomas Merton, A Life in Letters William Shakespeare, The Complete Works Benjamin Rush, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush Eugenia Ginzburg, Journey Into the Whirlwind Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence Tillie Olsen, Silences Seamus Heaney, Field Work Agnes Day, Light in the Shoe Shop: A Cobbler's ContemplationsSilence is an extreme place; and it's total exposure. Even the most balanced person is tested there. That's in part why people seek it, to see where they will go; that's in party why people flee it, because it's so terrifying. There's no protection in the silence... There's no place to hide in silence. — Jane BroxEpisode 54: The Social History of Silence: A Conversation with Jane BroxHosted by: Kevin JohnsonWith: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColmanGuest: Jane BroxDate Recorded: February 4, 2019
Jane Brox | Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives
Free Library Podcast
Penning ''nonfiction literature of a high and lasting order'' (Chicago Tribune), Jane Brox is the author of, among other books, Five Thousand Days Like This One, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, named one of 2010's best books by Time magazine; and Here and Nowhere Else, winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Told through the intrinsically linked histories of the monastery and penitentiary (including a section on Eastern State), Silence traces the complex culturally transformative power of the concept of complete quiet. (recorded 1/31/2019)
# 119 Jane Brox Interview On Her Fantastic Book "Brilliant - The Evolution of Artificial Light"
The Josh Scandlen Podcast
First podcast episode of 2019! A great one to start the New Year too. I had the privilege to interview Jane Brox, who wrote a most wonderful book called "Brilliant - The Evolution of Artificial Light" If you are into history, especially narrative history, the kind where you feel you are actually THERE - back in time with the characters, this book is for you. Just an incredible journey of light and how human beings have come to rely on it so. I can not recommend this book enough. Get it here: https://amzn.to/2SXTVEJ Jane just published a new book: Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Time. Get this book here: https://amzn.to/2Md631N --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/josh-scandlen-podcast/support
#11 The Evolution of Artificial Light with Jane Brox
Have you stopped to consider just how convenient your life is with lighting, and how significant of an impact this has on your lifestyle? Chances are, you’re reading this on a backlit screen or perhaps you’re listening to this at night when you should be in bed (but can stay up much later due to lighting) In this episode I had a fascinating conversation with Jane Brox, author of Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light. Part history & part futurist, this episode explored how light evolved in cities versus rural areas, and most importantly what impact lighting has had on how we live our lives. Sleep deprivation, Wildlife confusion & deaths, grid connectivity, energy use, light pollution, safety – we explored so many different facets of lighting. But perhaps the most critical is that lighting is itself a consumer AND an enabler of consumption… You use significant amounts of energy to “light your home or workplace”, and then this allows you (or your workers/family) to continue on consuming energy as if daylight had not ended. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Jane as much as I did. You can contact Jan at www.janebrox.com where you can purchase her book or contact her directly.