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The Marble Room

How I Lost God and Found Myself in Africa

Bill Hatcher

What comes after religion?

This question is at the root of how an increasingly self-aware humanity will struggle to define itself in the 21st century. William Hatcher's memoir, The Marble Room, explores this question by taking readers on an archetypal adventure of self-discovery.

The author grew up in a racist, religiously supremacist milieu in rural America. Life was safe and predictable until his parents divorced when he was a young teen. Attempting to rewrite the end of his parents' marriage and salvage his worldview, he married an evangelical woman, but that, too, ended in divorce.

Desperate to redefine truth, he left home to serve in the Peace Corps, teaching geography at an all-girls' boarding school in Tanzania. His Bible Belt racism and religious beliefs crumbled as the challenges he faced escalated; glimpsing death on holy peaks, meeting "ancestor spirits" in sacred caves, and receiving the "leopard's blessing" from elder shamans. One of his Muslim students became a close friend and confidante, and she encouraged him to consider God in different ways. Near the end of the story he finds peace in Pantheism, though an unexpected tragedy puts his new spirituality to a final test.

288 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Lantern Books


Published:  November 2012


Bill Hatcher led wilderness courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, and the western U.S. following his Peace Corps adventures. Along the way, he piloted bush planes in Kenya, Alaska, and Utah, and taught college courses that often focused on Africa. He now writes for Colorado Central Magazine from his home in rural Colorado, where he lives with his wife and two cats. He has begun work on his next book. See all books by Bill Hatcher

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