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A Theology of Fiction

A spirited debate has been going on for nearly a decade now, much of it in these pages, about the apparent dearth of religious ideas in recent American fiction. Because many of the interlocutors—among the most prominent are Paul Elie, Randy Boyagoda, Dana Gioia, and Gregory . . . . Continue Reading »

At Home on Revolutionary Road

One of the hoariest clichés of American popular culture is anti-suburban sentiment. Common throughout literature, film, and television, it arguably received its most tuneful expression in Malvina Reynolds’s 1962 song “Little Boxes,” which disparages the tracts of affordable housing that were . . . . Continue Reading »

Lamb to the Slaughter

George Frazier had a story about the first time he met John O’Hara. The journalist and clotheshorse Frazier was introduced to the novelist O’Hara while hanging out at a Greenwich Village jazz club. The famously cranky O’Hara looked Frazier up and down before inviting him to have a drink. . . . . Continue Reading »

Cheever's God

Readers of John Cheever’s stories, most of which appeared in the New Yorker before being collected in a Pulitzer-winning book in 1978, regarded the author as “the Ovid of ­Ossining,” the artist who showed the riches and wonders of suburban life. Alert to the transcendent in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Spirituality of the Suburbs

Obituaries for Toni Morrison, who died on August 5, remember her as a Nobel Prize–winning novelist, a black woman novelist, and the last great American novelist—never a Catholic novelist. Morrison converted to Catholicism at age twelve but stood aloof from the Church for years. Despite a few . . . . Continue Reading »

Sentimental Frenzy

On the basis of a sixty-second clip, thousands of prominent Americans rushed to denounce the students of Covington Catholic High School. The students’ alleged crime was mobbing an American Indian activist named Nathan Phillips while wearing “Make America Great Again” caps. Respectable people . . . . Continue Reading »

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