Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom (Paperback)

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom By John O'Donohue, Michael D. Higgins (Foreword by), Pat O'Donohue (Afterword by) Cover Image
By John O'Donohue, Michael D. Higgins (Foreword by), Pat O'Donohue (Afterword by)
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"Anam Cara is a rare synthesis of philosophy, poetry, and spirituality. This work will have a powerful and life-transforming experience for those who read it." —Deepak Chopra

John O'Donohue, poet, philosopher, and scholar, guides you through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination. In Anam Cara, Gaelic for "soul friend," the ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Celtic wisdom provide such profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death as:

  • Light is generous
  • The human heart is never completely born
  • Love as ancient recognition
  • The body is the angel of the soul
  • Solitude is luminous
  • Beauty likes neglected places
  • The passionate heart never ages
  • To be natural is to be holy
  • Silence is the sister of the divine
  • Death as an invitation to freedom

About the Author

John O'Donohue (1956-2008) was a poet, philosopher, and scholar and a native Gaelic speaker from County Clare, Ireland. He was awarded a PhD in Philosophical Theology from the University of Tübingen, with post-doctoral study of Meister Eckhart. John's numerous international bestselling books include Anam CaraBeautyEternal Echoes, and the beloved To Bless the Space Between Us (published as Benedictus in Europe), among many others, guiding readers through the landscape of the Irish imagination. 

Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland on November 11, 2011, and was then inaugurated for a second term on November 11, 2018.  A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at almost every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland’s first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Pat O'Donohue was born in County Clare, Ireland. He attended Maynooth College studying the Arts and Philosophy, receiving his B.D. in Theology in 1978. After living in London, he returned to County Clare, writing and continuing to further the legacy of his beloved brother, John O'Donohue.  

Praise For…

"Anam Cara is a rare synthesis of philosophy, poetry, and spirituality. This work will have a powerful and life-transforming experience for those who read it." — Deepak Chopra

“John O’Donohue’s unique voice and heart and his exquisitely elevating poetic imagination are immortalized in these pages, saturated as they are with his lyrical and contagious love of life and love for people and nature. Even reading it at random is profoundly healing and affirming, especially in hard moments.”  — Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Meditation is Not What You Think and the bestselling classic, Wherever You Go, There You Are

"The moment I read Anam Cara...I felt like I had found a kindred spirit. I love everything John has written. It comes from such a deep, profound, wise, and insightful space."   — Maria Shriver, author, advocate, and journalist

"What a profound joy it is rereading Anam Cara, John O'Donohue's glorious book of teachings about nature, human life, friendship, love, and loss. Anyone who ever spent time with John came away changed, as do his readers."  — Diane Ackerman, bestselling author and poet

“In this twenty-fifth anniversary edition, you will find John a 'soul friend' on your own journey through life, offering support and solace, clarity, and consciousness—expanding narratives that invite you to experience relationships with people, nature, and even your inner world in new ways that nurture well-being and resilience in these challenging times.”  Daniel J. Siegel, MD, bestselling author, neuropsychiatrist 

“This book is a phenomenon in itself . . . a book to read and reread forever, its style of varied narration responds to our times.” — Irish Times

"With this twenty-fifth anniversary of Anam Cara, John's fervent call to dignify each other reverberates in every corner of our beautiful broken world with more urgency and presence." — Ellen Wingard, Advocate for Social Impact Leadership 

"A lively spiritual companion to all Celts—or to those who are Celtic in their hearts." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"For almost twenty years the poetic and prophetic words of John O'Donohue have held sacred space and holy weight in my heart." — Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor-Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago, Illinois)

"Anam Cara is a radiant source of wisdom, a link between the human and the divine. This work is a blessed, rare gem." — Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Be Careful What You Pray For, Prayer Is Good Medicine, and Healing Words

"John O'Donohue is an unassuming man with a grand sense of humor. . . charming." — Joy Redfield Kwapien, author of The Celestine Journal

"John brightens the way for you, if you have the courage to go there--he was obviously sent here with the light." — Davy Spillane, Grammy Award-winning musician/composer at North Atlantic Music Studios (Ireland) and Producer of Anam Cara Audiobook

"John O'Donohue's book of Celtic wisdom comes at you like a blast of fresh wind rushing above the din of modern noise and cynical contemporary conversations, revitalizing the spirit to effectively face this turbulent world. Indeed we need John's wildly original and provocative voice more than ever." — Gail Straub, Co-Founder--Empowerment Institute, Author of The Rhythm of Compassion

"From the very first sentence, Anam Cara takes us on an exhilarating journey through the human soul and its many wondrous and mysterious labyrinths, and John O'Donohue is the perfect guide to light the way--a radiant soul full of deep wisdom, true compassion, and boundless joy." — Andrew Carroll, New York Times bestselling author and co-founder, with Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky, of the American Poetry & Literacy Project

"Anam Cara has accompanied me on my spiritual journey from its very inception. I have returned to this book often, for solace, wisdom and --most of all--to be reminded that I am not alone in what I desire for myself and for our world. John O'Donohue has been my "soul friend" for years, and his brave revelations of his mind and heart have changed my life. Get ready for a life-altering journey." — Edward L. Beck, Roman Catholic Priest, CNN Faith and Religion Commentator

"In the age of social media in which we add and discard friends with the tap of a screen, we need more than ever John O'Donohue's vital words of wisdom on how the right relationships can lift a life and feed the soul. This book is about deep love, belonging, and honoring nourishing ties that crush small-minded concepts of what friendship can be. A must read for all on the spiritual journey." — Sophfronia Scott, author of The Seeker and the Monk and Love's Long Line

"John blew away the dust of many years of spiritual disillusionment and blessed the world with an ancient message infused with beauty, love and divine truths. This was a man formed from the wildness of clay and rock of the West coast of County Clare. It was a privilege to know John and to witness him enliven weary souls in search of the divine spark. He was an continues to be an Anam Cara (soul friend) to those of us blessed to have known him and for all who continue to walk the path through his inspired writings." — Áine Minogue, Irish Musician

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060929435
ISBN-10: 006092943X
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 21st, 1998
Pages: 256
Language: English