Draw Your Weapons

Author(s): Sarah Sentilles

Books, Writing and Language

''How to live in the face of so much suffering? What difference can one person make in this beautiful, imperfect, and imperilled world?''

In Draw Your Weapons, Sarah Sentilles offers an impassioned defence of life lived by peace and principle. Through a dazzling combination of memoir, history, reporting, visual culture, literature and theology, Sentilles tells the true stories of a conscientious objector during World War II and a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib. In the process she challenges conventional thinking about how violence is waged, witnessed and resisted.

Draw Your Weaponsstirs and confronts, disturbs and illuminates. A single book might not change the world, but this utterly original meditation on art and war might transform the way you see the world--and that makes all the difference.

A former theologian, Sarah Sentillescompleted her undergraduate degree at Yale and both a Masters and a Doctorate at Harvard. She was a college professor for over a decade before becoming a full time writer and is now a passionate advocate for life lived by peace and principle. Her previous books are Taught by America: A Story of Struggle and Hope in Compton, A Church of her Own: What Happens When A Woman Takes the Pulpitand Breaking Up With God: A Love Story. She lives in Idaho.

''A unique and necessary book that makes a passionate, thought-stoking argument.'' John Jeremiah Sullivan

''Now more than ever, the world needs a book like Draw Your Weapons. With mastery, urgency and great courage, Sarah Sentilles investigates the histories of art, violence, war and human survival. In her haunting and absorbing narrative, the act of storytelling itself becomes a matter of life and death.'' Ruth Ozeki

''Draw Your Weaponsis as much about peace as it is about war; it is as much about life as it is about death...You will be riveted, educated, implicated, and changed by this book.'' Emily Rapp

''An intriguing meditation on violence, imagery and language.'' Ashleigh Wilson, Australian, Books of the Year 2017

''A beautiful, harrowing, and moving collage that portrays the making of art as a powerful response to making war. Every reader will feel profoundly changed by it.'' Alice Elliott Dark

''Fearless, stirring, rhythmic, this book pulses with energy and is full of insights, dark yet ultimately hopeful.'' Nick Flynn

''A beautiful, haunting book so original that it is a genre unto itself--a poem, a sermon, a polemic, a memoir, a narrative. I won''t be able to think of our era of constant conflict without recalling Sentilles''s lessons, her imagery, and her prophetic voice.'' Franklin Foer

''Draw Your Weaponsworks as a highly original corrective to this impulse towards inaction...Sentilles'' approach is a refreshing and instructive take on this era of perennial warfare.'' Readings

''Sentilles delivers a learned, poetic, and interdisciplinary assessment of the ways in which the photographic image has been abused and weaponised, while also suggesting ways in which the arts can help serve as an antidote to this problem.'' Publishers Weekly

''Sentilles, a would-be priest who dropped out of divinity school to pursue the study of art history searches for the role of art in an age of perennial warfare. She deftly and gently weaves together disparate topics--photography, Japanese internment, Abu Ghraib, sainthood, to name a few--so that I felt like an awakened genius at the close of each section.'' Literary Hub

''In a culture where the arts are too often dismissed as frivolous, Sentilles''s work offers a robust and necessary retort, an important reminder that "the world is made and can be unmade".'' Australian

''Sentilles has examined these issues so closely, I am inescapably interested in her opinions. At the same time I also appreciate her answer to a student, who, reacting to one of the many photographs of war and violence that Sentilles shows her classes, asked, "But what are we supposed to do?" Sentilles responded: "I don''t know."'' Saturday Paper

''Though Sontag''s words--"No one...Not even pacifists"--fundamentally shape the book, and it proves nothing if not how pervasive and intractable the culture of war is, Draw Your Weaponsleft me feeling rather like Virginia Woolf. It is an impossibly heavy book to read, as even the beautiful in it is tainted by its root cause, but it is heavy because it is challenging and brilliant and fierce. Readers will carry that weight and be better for it.'' Rumpus

''Sarah Sentilles'' Draw Your Weaponsis one of the most erudite, original, and thought-provoking books I have ever read. A philosophical and moral meditation on pain, torture, and the violence of war--part memoir, part history, even a kind of secular prayer--this book asks us to look at terrible human darkness while also celebrating the ways in which love, connectedness, and the making of art nourish and redeem the human spirit.'' Australian Book Review

''A masterpiece of understatement, allusion and wily composition.'' Michael McGirr, Sydney Morning Herald

''A sincere and intelligent read.'' BMA Magazine

''A formally elegant and intellectually rigorous argument for peace...Sentilles'' book inspires us to be more than we are, to live beyond our historical moment. Not a call to arms so much as a call to the writers'' pen.'' Geordie Williamson, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

''A complex and original reaction to violence, warfare, and conscientious objection: I''m still thinking about it, still dipping back into it.'' Patrick Allington, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

''Sentilles mounts her argument with an accumulation of detail, employing metaphor rather than polemic. Her examination of drone warfare is especially powerful.'' Suzy Freeman-Greene, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

''Poetic and furious.'' Fiona Wright, Sydney Morning Herald''s Year in Reading

''These are weighty subjects but the author''s touch is so light that I was barely conscious of reading...Sentilles does not belabour her points but her silences are impactful.'' Overland

''Had I not been asked to review Sarah Sentilles''s Draw Your Weaponsfor these pages, I wouldn''t have read it; I would have skimmed the blurb and scoffed at its idealism. "What difference can one person make in this beautiful, imperfect, and imperilled world?" Sentilles asks. This of all years, I am mightily thankful I was challenged to confront that question, and form my own answer. Her book is a vital antidote to political despondency and a testament to the transformative power of art.'' Beejay Silcox, Australian, Books of the Year 2017

''Sentilles''s book is a challenging read full of snippets thoughts and reflections. It cuts between time place and character. Part memoir part exploration it avoids neatly-cut explanations or definitive conclusions it shows, suggests and probes...In an age consumed with its own reflection this is a timely work and I highly recommend it.'' Radio National, 2017''s Best Summer Reads

''An intriguing meditation on violence, imagery and language.'' Ashleigh Wilson, Australian, Books of the Year 2017

''Two very different photographs send the author on a quest to understand the relationship between compassion and violence. The result is the conversation that I wish we, as a nation, could have, not just to bridge the gap between veterans and civilians, or to find some common ground between conservatives and liberals, but to lay out a realistic plan for our continued survival.'' LitHub

''An unflinching yet poetic interrogation of the roles that imagery, language and everyday behaviours play in abetting oppression, violence and injustice, Draw Your Weaponsconfirms that a life of peace and principle is a human possibility.'' Peter Mares, Griffith Review

''Sentilles combines fragments of narrative, memoir and journalism to plot a peripatetic path through contemporary debates about war and suffering. She considers whether it is possible for art- and image-making to re-engage viewers who feel overwhelmed or apathetic, while restoring dignity to those affected by conflict. In a book with no images, Sentilles interrogates many photographic works that depict violence and suffering, to grapple with the question: do we look or look away'...Sentilles argues that the suffering doesn''t go away just because we don''t look. The really important question is not whether we look, but what we do with what we see.'' Inside Story


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781911231141
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : July 2017
  • : ---length:- '23.4'width:- '15.3'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Sarah Sentilles
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 700.103
  • : 320