Anna Lappé, Interview #18

Real People, Real Lives, Real Spirituality…
Name: Anna Lappé
Where you live: In a brownstone on a tree-lined street in the Ft. Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, just blocks from the local farmers market.
What you do as a vocation or avocation? I’m a writer and connector. My books are Hope’s Edge and Grub and I’m at work on a third about food, sustainability, and climate change. I also write a bi-monthly column for Spirituality & Health and present for programs like The Practical Guide to Healthier Living . In my other role as “connector,” I help channel resources through the SmallPlanet Fund to groups that are changing the world through confronting the root causes of hunger. I also work with colleagues and friends across the country who are promoting local, sustainable, fairly produced food for everyone.

Your two favorite books: Two?! Who can have just two? It’s like being asked to pick among your children! I can tell you the two books that have most moved me recently:

What is the What, a novel by Dave Eggers based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan. The other is Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, which I recently re-read and found her prescient words powerful.

Your favorite quote: On my mother’s bedroom wall, growing up:

“Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made.”–Lu Hsun, 1921

Your favorite web sites: I love what you can discover online. I use the Internet all the time for tracking stories and getting inspiration. YouTube–if you’re looking in the right place–can be enormously fascinating. You can find hidden treasures and fascinating clips, like a 1968 William F Buckley interview of Noam Chomsky that felt as insightful today as it must have felt decades ago. I also love the videos on

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? I suppose it’s the spiritual lesson so many of us hope to learn: to be able to find peace inside, within myself, as well as with the world, while becoming even more engaged with not accepting what is and striving toward what might yet be.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?” On my yoga mat, wherever in the world that is.

Photo credit: David Needleman

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