This came in my morning e-mail, from a Canadian reader of How Dante Can Save Your Life:
The more I’m into it the more of a knockout it becomes. There are just so many great insights and I love that (in the great journalism tradition) you make it very easy to approach without dumbing down.
I hope you sell a million copies. There’s so much that I relate to my own life, which means hundreds of thousands of others will feel the same. When I was an editor I used to tell reporters that none of us is that unique – so when we think something is funny or tragic or fascinating or outrageous hundreds of thousands will fee; the same.
I keep hearing things like this, and from people who often add something along the lines of “And I thought it was just going to be literary analysis.” It’s not. It’s a spiritual memoir, in which I used a great work of literature to confront some serious, crippling issues within my own heart. I go to great lengths to show — not tell, but show — how the Divine Comedy is deeply, intimately relevant to our own lives. If you have hesitated to try the book, thinking it would be too abstract and too literary, I invite you to reconsider. This really is a book written for ordinary readers, people who, like me, would have normally felt too intimidated to pick up the Divine Comedy, thinking I couldn’t possibly understand it.