New Here?
     
Literature


Grace at SantaLand: Why David Sedaris Is My Favorite Advent Reading

This one was written by Jonathan Sanchez. It’s a bit of a weird choice for an Advent meditation, I’ll admit–the last entry of “SantaLand Diaries” by David Sedaris. Honestly, though, I’ve read those two pages so many times, I know them by heart. In the great Christmas stories, there’s a lot of dark stuff. Scrooge […]

Cast Away the Works of Darkness

A little sample from our latest publication, Faith Once Delivered, a collection of sermons from longtime contributor Paul N. Walker. This sermon was originally delivered at Christ Church in Charlottesville, November 28, 2010, for the First Sunday of Advent. William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, remains a piercing and, I believe, accurate judgment […]

C. S. Lewis: Evangelist of the Burning Heart

November 22nd is an exciting day for me and for many others as it marks the commemoration of the blessed Clive Staples Lewis in the church calendar. Lewis (“Jack,” as he was affectionately known to friends and family) needs little in the way of introduction: defender of the faith, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, […]

The Hardest Thing for Anyone

According to author Zadie Smith, that is. She spills the beans in the closing mic-drop of her remarkable recent interview with The Toronto Star, ht SMZ:

“I think the hardest thing for anyone is accepting that other people are real as you are. That’s it. Not using them as tools, not using them as examples or things to make yourself feel better or things to get over or under. Just accepting that they are absolutely as real as you are and have all the same expectations and demands. And it’s so difficult that basically the only person that ever did it was Christ. The rest of us are very, very far behind.”

Thank God for Philip Pullman: A Religious Reader’s Guide to His Dark Materials

Spoilers below. Halfway through His Dark Materials, I heard rumors. By the books’ end, people were saying, the characters would kill God. But I was a kid, and like all kids, I wanted to be good. I wasn’t interested in killing God. The extent to which I had been harmed by the Church was a […]

“Like a Blaze of Summer Lightning”: Margery Lawrence, Heaven’s Reluctant Guide

She was being called out in The Sunday Express. The British novelist and poet, Margery Lawrence had been identified as a leading contributor to society’s ills, in print. Being a feminist critical of marriage in 1920s England marked you as a troublemaker. Take Lawrence’s novel, which was quickly turned into the film Madonna of the […]

Another Week Ends: Time-Wasting Projects, Serotonin, Destination Funerals, the Hope of Children, the Languages of Love, and Jesus is King

1. Ear Hustle is a podcast about incarceration. It shares stories about life in San Quentin prison and the reintegration into life that follows a sentence there. The final episode of the recent fourth season is a hard story of reconciliation between a police officer and the man who shot him and went to jail […]

The Convenient Battlefield of Language, or, “This Zadie Smith Is Everything”

On the Internet, a word that will always get attention is “Actually.” You can bet it will be followed by such-and-such a reason why so-and-so is wrong, and what could be more interesting? Especially among wordy or academic types, language is so prolific that drawing lines of what should and shouldn’t be said seems imperative, […]

Alice McDermott on the Comfort Faith Provides

From her fresh “Art of Fiction” interview, Alice McDermott discusses religion and writing, and her reluctance to be labeled a “Catholic writer.” She also reveals the origins of her most recent novel, The Ninth Hour (2017), which follows the Little Sisters of the Sick Poor, a group of nuns with all sorts of personalities, in […]

Muriel Spark: On the Demands of the Christian Religion (Or, On Chewing While Reading the Scriptures)

A choice excerpt from Muriel Spark’s first novel “The Comforters,” which was written after her conversion to Catholicism: “She always insisted that the book could not have been written without her conversion”; religion “had enabled her to write.” The book follows a fresh convert, Caroline, who here responds to a memory of the hoggish Mrs. […]

Judgment, Grace, and Rest in Flannery O’Connor – Will McDavid

Next up in our series of conference videos, Will McDavid discusses the lesser known short story, “A Circle in the Fire,” by Flannery O’Connor. A thorough take on a story that blazes…

Judgment, Grace, and Rest in Flannery O’Connor – Will McDavid

Jim Thompson and the Killer Inside Us All

This one comes to us from Jay Mullinix. Call it a bibliophile’s guilty pleasure. I have long harbored an affinity for the mass-market paperback originals which appeared in the years following World War II. Published by such houses as Dell, Lion, Ace, Popular Library, and — most famously — Gold Medal, these novels were small […]