Guy, David 1948–
Guy, David 1948–
(David McCutcheon Guy)
Born August 19, 1948, in Pittsburgh, PA; son of William Barker (a physician) and Mary Jane Guy; married, wife's name Elizabeth Heard, June 20, 1970 (divorced, August, 1991); married Alma G. Blount, January 10, 1994; children: William Barker II (first marriage). Education: Duke University, B.A. (with distinction), 1970, M.A.T., 1977. Politics: Democrat.
Home—Durham, NC. E-mail—[email protected]
Forsyth Country Day School, Winston-Salem, NC, English teacher and department head, 1970-76; Duke University, Durham, NC, teacher at a writers' conference, 1988-89, teacher of narrative writing, 1999; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, teacher of creative writing, 1990-91; Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, writing instructor, 2001—.
National Book Critics Circle, Phi Beta Kappa.
Football Dreams, Seaview Books (New York, NY), 1980.
The Man Who Loved Dirty Books, New American Library (New York, NY), 1983.
Second Brother, New American Library (New York, NY), 1985.
The Autobiography of My Body, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.
Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence, Trumpeter Books (Boston, MA), 2007.
(With Larry Rosenberg) Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1998.
The Red Thread of Passion: Spirituality and the Paradox of Sex, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1999.
(With Larry Rosenberg) Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 2000.
Contributor to periodicals, including New Age Journal, Sun, Whole Earth Review, USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. Contributing editor, Tricycle: Buddhist Review. Books columnist for the Raleigh, NC, News & Observer, 1991-93.
David Guy writes across a broad spectrum of genres, producing both fiction and nonfiction books. A scholar of the writing process, Guy has taught creative writing and literature at both the secondary school and university level. His own writing often reflects his interest in the spiritual journey of mankind and the concepts of Zen Buddhism. Guy is the author of two books with meditation teacher Larry Rosenberg: Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation and Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive. In Breath by Breath Guy and Rosenberg explain the role of breathing in meditation and the ways in which mindful breathing as taught by the Buddha in the Anapanasati sutra can help the person who is meditating to achieve a level of enlightenment. The book serves as both an explanation of the theory and a how-to guide for readers interested in the practice. Cheryl Solomon Spiller observed in Natural Health that "ultimately, … this isn't about Buddhist terminology. You simply have to sit and breathe to understand."
Living in the Light of Death addresses the inevitability of aging, illness, and eventually death from a Buddhist perspective. The idea is that, rather than fearing death and the unknown, a person may achieve a measure of acceptance by performing a set of meditations that will prepare the body and mind for the inevitable. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly considered the book to be "a worthy read."
Guy has also written The Red Thread of Passion: Spirituality and the Paradox of Sex, which looks at sex as a spiritual experience rather than merely a act of physical pleasure, love, or procreation. He explains his theory, using examples from the lives of famous individuals, including Walt Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, and Annie Sprinkle. In a review for Booklist, Patricia Monaghan remarked: "This is a genuinely lusty book and a genuinely spiritual one, too."
Spirituality and Buddhist concepts also appear in Guy's fiction. In Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence the title character is a teacher of Zen Buddhism who also happens to repair bicycles in his home town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The book depicts Jake's decline into Alzheimer's and his efforts to keep his Zen Buddhist practice going by asking his student Hank to take over as a teacher. The two men travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in an effort to secure funding for a retreat center, but the week is actually more about their relationship, Hank's struggle to make a decision, and Jake's increasing forgetfulness. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews remarked: "The conflicts are both gentle and genuine, and readers will root for the appealing pilgrims." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that "though not much actually happens beyond talking and eating, Guy conveys … the subtleties of Zen practice."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 1999, Patricia Monaghan, review of The Red Thread of Passion: Spirituality and the Paradox of Sex, p. 1488; January 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Jake Fades: A Novel of Impermanence, p. 54.
English Journal, January 1, 1982, review of Football Dreams, p. 83; October 1, 1986, Ben Nelms, review of Second Brother, p. 83.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Jake Fades, p. 1034.
Library Journal, December 15, 1980, review of Football Dreams, p. 2588; September 1, 1985, Brian E. Coutts, review of Second Brother, p. 212; December 1, 1990, David Keymer, review of The Autobiography of My Body, p. 162; May 1, 2000, Graham Christian, review of Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive, p. 122.
Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1983, Dick Lochte, review of The Man Who Loved Dirty Books, p. 18.
Natural Health, November 1, 1998, Cheryl Solomon Spiller, review of Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation, p. 154.
New York Times, December 23, 1980, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Football Dreams, p. 9.
New York Times Book Review, November 3, 1985, review of Second Brother, p. 26; March 17, 1991, Sarah, Duchess of York, review of The Autobiography of My Body, p. 22.
Publishers Weekly, October 24, 1980, Barbara A. Bannon, review of Football Dreams, p. 35; July 29, 1983, review of The Man Who Loved Dirty Books, p. 61; July 12, 1985, Sybil Steinberg, review of Second Brother, p. 46; November 23, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Autobiography of My Body, p. 57; June 26, 1995, review of The Autobiography of My Body, p. 105; April 12, 1999, review of The Red Thread of Passion, p. 69; May 15, 2000, review of Living in the Light of Death, p. 109; November 20, 2006, review of Jake Fades, p. 31.
School Library Journal, December 1, 1982, Ron Brown, review of Football Dreams, p. 29.
USA Today, October 9, 1985, review of Second Brother, p. 6.
Washington Post, September 14, 1983, Jonathan Yardley, review of The Man Who Loved Dirty Books, p. 1; September 10, 1985, Parke Godwin, review of Second Brother, p. 9.
Hart Leadership Program Web site,http://www.pubpol.duke.edu/ (May 31, 2007), faculty biography of David Guy.