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Scriptural Splinters

From the May 2014 Print Edition

The Childhood of Jesusby j. m. coetzeeviking, 288 pages, $26.95 Awarded the Nobel Prize in 2003, South African novelist J. M. Coetzee has long been a fierce if idiosyncratic moral voice in contemporary literary circles. In the 1970s and 1980s, his essays and fiction regularly took withering aim at . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith in Fiction

From the Aug/Sept 2013 Print Edition

I’m sick of Flannery O’Connor. I’m also sick of Walker Percy, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Dostoevsky. Actually, I’m sick of hearing about them from religiously minded readers. These tend to be the only authors that come up when I . . . . Continue Reading »

Thoroughly Modern Mary

From the March 2013 Print Edition

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín Scribner, 81 pages, $19.99 All told, Mary utters only two hundred words in the Bible. We hear from her three times in Luke, at the Annunciation and the Visitation, and when she remonstrates with the twelve-year-old Jesus after he has gone missing in the . . . . Continue Reading »

On Two Moons and a Prayer

From the April 2012 Print Edition

1Q84 ? by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel? Knopf, 944 pages, $30.50 Much to my surprise, given the author’s reputation, I began to care about the main characters of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s new epic, 1Q84 . They are a young man and a young woman who, . . . . Continue Reading »

Taxing Boredom

From the October 2011 Print Edition

The Pale King by David foster Wallace Little, Brown, 548 pages, $27.99 It’s not often that suicidal postmodern novelists and conservative public-policy intellectuals share each other’s concerns about the troubling conditions of contemporary American life. This seemed to be the case in . . . . Continue Reading »