Category Archives: Books – by Chuck Fager

The Island of Two Stories: Part Four of Four

FOUR: Bringing Them, Home, and Bringing It Back
I managed to draft about sixty pages of my Nantucket novel, and several episodes of the quilt story, before cash ran too low for more room rent. Reluctantly I took the ferry back to the twentieth century, presented my carefully stashed return bus ticket, and jiggled and scribbled my sore butt back to Baghdad on the Bay.

Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: Part Four of Four

The Island of Two Stories: Part Three of Four

THREE — Across the Universe: Getting Home Is Hard To Do

I had moved to San Francisco from Boston in late 1975, following my daughters, who were there with my soon-to-be ex-wife. Starting over as a writer/reporter there kept me on a tight budget.

Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: Part Three of Four

The Island of Two Tales — Part Two

TWO: Twists & Gimmicks, but No Nude Beaches
Molly, Chuck & Kiki, circa 1977

When I landed on Nantucket in the fall of 1976, I had a head full of the [American] Revolution, enough cash for a cramped bedroom in an unfashionable boardinghouse, but no nanny. So my two daughters, Annika (self-nicknamed “Kiki,”) age 7 and Molly, a precocious 4, were back in San Francisco with their mother, from whom I was quietly getting divorced.

Continue reading The Island of Two Tales — Part Two

The Island of Two Stories: A Four-Part Mini-Saga

Part ONE
Once long ago, in late 1976, I set out to write the great American Quaker novel.

Or at least, a page-turning historical potboiler.

It was to be be about Quakers on the island of Nantucket, during the American Revolution. Two of them in particular: the gruff but pious William Rotch, — who was the wealthiest Quaker on the island. He carried the double burden of a large fortune balanced against a tender pacifist conscience in . And a woman Friend, Kezia Coffin, with no fortune but boundless ambition and strong passions.

Continue reading The Island of Two Stories: A Four-Part Mini-Saga

Next Tuesday: The “Separation Generation” Discussion on March 7

The Separation Generation:

Discussion –  March 7 at ESR & on Zoom

To register FREE Today, Click here.

From 2007 to 2018, five U. S. Yearly Meetings split apart —one disappeared completely, after 320 years. This was the broadest, most disruptive  wave of separations since 1827.

Five years later, several much larger denominations have likewise split asunder; more may soon do so.

Three Friends independently chronicled all these Quaker upheavals. Their collaboration became a unique and searching three-volume account, “The Separation Generation”:

The Authors on Taking Stock,
Looking Ahead:

Jade Rockwell: A bit of background: Jade was involved in the separation in Northwest YM in Oregon. Now she’s in Indiana, where two more splits happened, and working at the meeting which was the main target for those who forced the split. The fourth division happened next door in Ohio, to Wilmington YM. Jade is at ESR now, looking toward full-time pastoral work. From what she’s seen, written about, and lived through, how does she think that wave of splits has affected the field of ministry you’re hoping to enter?

Chuck Fager wants to talk about clerking, and its discontents. These separations were complex; but clerking was a common key factor. The reporting showed there was some excellent clerking; but in Chuck’s view it also revealed recurring clerk misconduct. Similar misconduct occurred in earlier splits back to 1827. These experiences raise the question of whether “normal” Quaker Process is equipped even to name or curb such damaging official malpractice and wrongdoing. This reporting project convinced Chuck that it’s time for Friends to begin reexamining and strengthening Quaker process, to better protect Friends and meetings in times of stress and difficulty.
Steve Angell: Steve notes that all five of these splits involved LGBTQ issues. But was that all there was to them? No. In his view,  other issues and forces were also important. And from his standpoint as a Quaker historian, Steve has been pondering whether the Separation Generation has permanently changed U. S. Quakerism.

March 7, 2023 – in person at Earlham School of Religion & on ZOOM, 6-8 PM EST.

To register FREE Today, Click here.

The Separation Generation:

Vol. 1: Indiana Trainwreck (Indiana & Western YMs)

Vol. 2: Murder at Quaker Lake (North Carolina YM)

Vol. 3: Shattered by the Light (Northwest & Wilmington YMs)

On March 7, 2023
all three authors will reflect on their reporting on this time of tribulation, consider its far-reaching implications, and answer questions. You can join the conversation, in person at ESR or on Zoom, at no charge.
March 7, 2023 6-8 PM – EST

                To register, Click Here.