Harvey Teres' Latest Release
Harvey Teres goes outside of academia to find out what it means to experience beauty. The fourteen conversations captured in the book, featuring people of different economic means, genders, and races, uncover an underexplored, integral part of the human experience. What do an exotic dancer, a quilting store owner, a labor organizer, and a waitress have in common? In a compelling, surprising way, these people’s stories reveal a universal desire and need for the thrill, peace, or pride that anything from a piece of art to a new lipstick can bring to their lives: beauty. Whether the feeling is directly attributed to a higher power, a craft store, or “high” art, the search for it binds us regardless of background, status, or appearance. Conversations about Beauty shows us that the value of an object or artistic expression is experiential and
varied across cultures, but that we all know the lasting and positive effects of aesthetic pleasure, and that we all derive it from looking outside of ourselves, even if it’s into a mirror. Is there a place for beauty in the midst of growing economic and social disparity? According to Deborah Boughton, ballet dancer and teacher, “a general appreciation and the ability to see beauty in something, is going to help you become more compassionate.” This collection of real stories reaffirms that beauty is a necessity, and that it is for everyone. No one is truly ordinary.
"A timely, entertaining, and inspiring book that takes on a vital truth: a culture lives or dies by its understanding of, and engagement with, beauty..."
- George Saunders, Author of
Lincoln in the Bardo
"A timely, entertaining, and inspiring book that takes on a vital truth: a culture lives or dies by its understanding of, and engagement with, beauty. Teres is a truly insightful and compassionate interviewer, and brings out the best in his subjects with a winning combination of warmth, rigorous preparation, and genuine curiosity."
"Harvey Teres understands that honing a sensibility for the beautiful helps each of us craft of daily life a kind of personal cathedral. And that we all do it, and it rescues us all from banality, from boredom. These conversations—riveting and moving—should be required reading, because these folks are anything but ordinary, and the process of finding beauty makes every human being a marvel maker."
"...This book is a spectacular embodiment of the Elizabeth Bishop line that is this book’s subtitle: somebody loves us all. Teres is that rare English professor who will venture outside of the campus and remind us, eloquently, that, out in the streets, we need beauty more than ever. We also need this wonderful book."
Dean’s Professor for the Public Humanities in English
Department of English
Syracuse, NY 13244