The Longing for Home (1996)

Recollections and Reflections

Book Description

"One of our finest writers" (Annie Dillard, Boston Globe) offers a candid and searching examination of the meaning, power, and importance of home in our lives. In this deeply moving book of reflection and recollection, Frederick Buechner once again draws us into his deeply textured life and experience to illuminate our own understanding of home as both our place of origin and our ultimate destination. For Frederick Buechner, the meaning of home is twofold: the home we remember and the home we dream. As a word, it not only recalls the place that we grew up in and that had much to do with the people we eventually became, but also points ahead to the home that, in faith, we believe awaits us at life's end. Writing at the approach of his seventieth birthday, he describes, both in prose and in a group of poems, the one particular house that was most precious to him as a child, the books he read there, and the people he loved there. He speaks also of the lifelong search we are all engaged in to make a new home for ourselves and for our families, which is at the same time a search to find something like the wholeness and comfort of home with ourselves. As he turns his attention to our dreams of the heavenly home still to come, he sees it as both hallowing and fulfilling the charity and the peach of our original home. Writing with warmth, wisdom, and compelling eloquence, Frederick Buechner once again enables us to see more deeply into the secret places of our hearts. The Longing for Home will help to bring clarity and guidance to anyone who searches for meaning in a world that all too often seems meaningless.


"Journey on, Frederick Buechner. We need your stories to help us make sense of our own."
New Oxford Review

"Extraordinarily personal…intimate, dignified, and wryly humorous."
USA Today

"Buechner has articulated what he sees with a freshness and clarity and energy that hails our stultified imaginations."
New York Times Book Review

"With profound intelligence, Buechner’s [work] does what the finest, most appealing literature does: It displays and illumines the seemingly unrelated mysteries of human character and ultimate ideas." — Annie Dillard, Boston Globe

"In The Longing for Home, [Buechner] owns up to the possibility that his entire career has been a search for home, an attempt to fill that something missing in himself."
— W. Dale Brown, The Book of Buechner