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Longing For An Absent God

Longing for an Absent God: Faith and Doubt in Great American Fiction

Author: 
Nick Ripatrazone (Author)
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Description

Longing for an Absent God unveils the powerful role of faith and doubt in the American literary tradition. Nick Ripatrazone explores how two major strands of Catholic writers--practicing and cultural--intertwine and sustain each other.

Ripatrazone explores the writings of devout American Catholic writers in the years before the Second Vatican Council through the work of Flannery O'Connor, Andre Dubus, and Walker Percy; those who were raised Catholic but drifted from the church, such as the Catholic-educated Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy, the convert Toni Morrison, the Mass-going Thomas Pynchon, and the ritual-driven Louise Erdrich; and a new crop of faithful American Catholic writers, including Ron Hansen, Phil Klay, and Alice McDermott, who write Catholic stories for our contemporary world. These critically acclaimed and award-winning voices illustrate that Catholic storytelling is innately powerful and appealing to both secular and religious audiences.

Longing for an Absent God demonstrates the profound differences in the storytelling styles and results of these two groups of major writers--but ultimately shows how, taken together, they offer a rich and unique American literary tradition that spans the full spectrum of doubt and faith.

ISBN: 
9781506451954
Price: 
$27.99
ISBN: 
9781506451961
Price: 
$25.99
Release date: 
March 3, 2020
Pages: 
300
Width: 
6.25
Height: 
9.25

Endorsements

a talented storyteller

"A talented storyteller in his own right, Nick Ripatrazone brings to life the movements, the people, and the thoughts that have put the Catholic imagination on full display over the last century."

Matt Malone, S.J. | editor in chief, America magazine

Ripatrazone's achievement in this exploration of the varieties of Catholic literary experience is to make it seem that they all belong together

"The cultural Catholic, the agnostic Catholic, the dissident Catholic, and the disaffected Catholic; the pagan Catholic, the sincere Catholic, and the Catholic jester; the heretical Catholic, the defrocked Catholic, and--yes--the devout Catholic: they're all here, and Nick Ripatrazone's achievement in this exploration of the varieties of Catholic literary experience is to make it seem that they all belong together."

Paul Elie | Georgetown University, author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own and Reinventing Bach

a welcome and necessary addition

"In Longing for An Absent God, Nick Ripatrazone demonstrates the impressive range of writers whose imaginations have been shaped by a Catholic formation. This book is a welcome and necessary addition to the unfolding account of the central role the Catholic imagination has played in contemporary American art and culture."

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell | author of Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith and Radical Ambivalence: Race in Flannery O'Connor

Ripatrazone is indeed a Catholic critic for our time

"Not only is Ripatrazone a lively guide, but like the Catholic storytellers he writes about, he has a rare capacity to make visible hidden patterns of cultural and intellectual tradition. Never pedantic, and always attuned to the humanity of writers ranging from Cormac McCarthy to Louise Erdrich, Ripatrazone is indeed a Catholic critic for our time."

Bryan Giemza | Associate Professor of Humanities and Literature, Texas Tech University; author of Irish Catholic Writers and the Invention of the American South

impressive and deserves serious attention

"In his far-reaching study, Nick Ripatrazone discusses how secularism in the modern era has influenced Catholic novelists. The breadth of his coverage is impressive and deserves serious attention."

Jean W. Cash | Professor Emerita of English at James Madison University; author of Larry Brown: A Writer's Life