By Jens Kruse
6 x 9 inches
Published December 2021
In Observations from Orcas Island, author Jens Kruse – born in Hamburg, Germany in 1949, citizen of the United States since 1999, and resident, since 2009, of Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington State – shares a wide-ranging collection of his writings from recent years.
Through poetry, memoir, book reviews, and essays, Kruse attempts to deepen his and our awareness and understanding of our lives, our experiences, and our world. In his poetry and essays, he examines the heartache and strangeness of the times in which we are living, but also finds beauty, hope, and insight in the nature that surrounds us. In his reviews of published books, he explores topics like history and current events, politics and society, democracy and autocracy, and, of course, the meaning and consequences of pandemics, historical and present-day. Writing memoir has strengthened Kruse’s recollections of where he came from, and he observes how self-discovery and awareness can help all of us better understand our current moment in history.
Jens Kruse’s insightful and inspiring writings cast our world and life experiences in a new and fascinating light. We invite you to join him on this literary journey.
About the Author
Jens Kruse was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1949 and spent his early years playing with his cousins in the rubble fields of his native city. So he absorbed almost unconsciously the lesson that democracy was precious and precarious and that its loss can have catastrophic consequences.
He was educated in Germany and the United States, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UCLA. He taught German Language and Literature at Wellesley College from 1983 to 2016. If you would like to have more information about his work at Wellesley you can find it here.
His wife Susan Kunk and he visited Orcas Island for the first time in the summer of 2008. That fall they bought a home there and for the next few years migrated back and forth between Orcas and Wellesley, MA. After Jens’s retirement from Wellesley College they started living on Orcas Island year-round.
Jens has volunteered at the Orcas Library for many years and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. In that role he is guided by the deep conviction that the library is an essential community resource, supporting the intellectual, informational, and social interests and needs of our fellow community members of all ages and all walks of life. It is a profoundly egalitarian institution in a time of inequality. In short, it is an institution that will help us preserve democracy.