When we launched Rabbit Room Press in 2009, our goal was to publish and champion books that we felt demonstrated the core of what the Rabbit Room is about. Since then, a lot of books have come across our desks, and to date I think we’ve published seventeen titles—every one of which reveals the nature of the Rabbit Room in its own unique way. But until now I don’t know that any single book has so completely fulfilled my dream for Rabbit Room Press.
To say that Allen Levi is a fascinating man is like calling an iceberg a piece of frozen water. Were Allen to walk through your door today, you might think at first glance that a local farmer had taken a wrong turn on the way to the co-op, but by the time you shook his hand and exchanged a few words you’d feel the presence of some great weight moving below the surface.
The Allen you see is a man armed with a bright smile, a ready laugh, and a genuine friendliness that’s too rare in the world. But just out of sight is the beloved singer-songwriter of more than a dozen albums, the literature student and graduate of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the judge of a small town in Georgia, the man of deep and profound wisdom, the beekeeper, the passionate follower of Christ, and, as it turns out, the writer of remarkable wit, insight, and beauty.
Those of you who were at Hutchmoot this year, know just what I mean. Whether it was his a cappella performance during the Local Show, or his show-stopping reading the following morning, he’s a man that captures you and forces you to pay attention.
His book, The Last Sweet Mile, much like the man himself, is a work of deceptive simplicity (isn’t that so often the case with great art?). Allen’s best friend and only brother, Gary, was diagnosed with brain cancer, and the book tells the remarkable story of the last year of his life. But the book is much more than a memoir—the book you see is a book of the loss of a beloved family member, but the book lurking beneath the surface is a juggernaut of beauty, humor, community, love, pain, and ultimately great hope. And this is what I mean when I say The Last Sweet Mile is a summation of all the Rabbit Room and Rabbit Room Press stand for: it’s not merely an elegant piece of writing, it’s a work of timeless wisdom, beauty, and truth; it’s a testament to the power of brotherhood, fellowship, and community; and it’s a revelation of the love of Christ.
Rabbit Room Press is proud to have been a part of making this book a reality. This is why we do what we do. The Last Sweet Mile is now available for pre-order, and will be released on December 1st.