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Conversations with American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-between
     

Conversations with American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-between

by Dale Brown
 

For years, Dale Brown has interviewed American writers, listening particularly for what they have to say about “wrestling with the sacred” in their writing. In this book, a follow-up to his earlier collection, Of Fiction and Faith, Brown gives readers the opportunity to listen in on his thoughtful conversations with ten contemporary writers.

Overview

For years, Dale Brown has interviewed American writers, listening particularly for what they have to say about “wrestling with the sacred” in their writing. In this book, a follow-up to his earlier collection, Of Fiction and Faith, Brown gives readers the opportunity to listen in on his thoughtful conversations with ten contemporary writers.

While many of these authors shy away from being labeled “Christian” writers, they all have much truth to tell through their work as they struggle with expressing both faith and doubt. The conversations recorded here offer a fresh dialogue on the power of art to sustain faith in unexpected ways.

Interviews with: Eleanor Taylor Bland, David James Duncan, Terence Faherty, Ernest Gaines, Philip Gulley, Ron Hansen, Silas House, Jan Karon, Sheri Reynolds, Lee Smith.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Christianity & Literature
"What brought me sheer delight in this volume was getting to know some authors for the first time. In fact, a reader can compose a very good reading list simply by sampling sections of this book and turning to the works that Brown and the authors discuss. The well-seasoned Brown is at the top of his game here. . . Brown's own nimble mind works synchronously with the writers in something of a mutual exploration."
 
Publishers Weekly
"Brown is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable interviewer. . . This warmhearted collection capably introduces readers to new authors and illuminates the inherent tensions serious writers face in tackling spiritual themes."
 
Clyde Edgerton
— author of Solo
"In a time when the meaning of Christianity can be blurry, Dale Brown is clear, direct, and insightful. He asks the right questions, and asks them to good writers. In answering, a writer surprises you and then on the next page says something you believed only you had thought about. This book is entertaining as well as educational and inspirational. It works for people of all faiths and all persuasions who love storytelling, who think and worry about our world, who seek delight. Open to any page and read a little. I think you'll want to read it all."

Living Church
“Brown is a skilled interviewer and editor. He provides a welcome reminder that ‘secular’ writing can ‘raise more intriguing religious questions than do many of the books sold in so-called Christian bookstores.’”
 
Literature & Theology
“Brown’s book of conversations offers what could be a startlingly diverse collage of perspectives on US Christendom — particularly its more evangelical regions — and on lived experiences of the faith-doubt dynamic.”
 
Literature and Belief
Conversations provides interesting reading with an original point to make about the importance of Christian ‘truth-tellers’. . . . [It] functions as a useful companion to Brown’s previous work, Of Faith and Fiction (1997), and succeeds in eroding stereotypes of ‘Christian’ writers.”
 
Publishers Weekly

For more than 20 years, W. Dale Brown has been interviewing authors about "wrestling with the sacred in their writing." As a former English professor at Calvin College and director of its Festival of Faith and Writing, Brown has been in a unique position to listen to voices that, he insists, "are preaching up a tempest" in resistance to trends in postmodern fiction. He now follows up his first collection of these conversations (Of Fiction and Faith) with 10 more interviews. Among his "tale-tellers with a point" are Ron Hansen, Ernest Gaines, Sheri Reynolds, Jan Karon, Silas House and Lee Smith. In gentle discussions, Brown investigates the wellsprings of their writing: while not all of the authors identify themselves as Christians, they reflect at length on being storytellers and seekers of meaning through the lives of their characters. Of particular interest are those who write from a strong sense of place, particularly the South. Brown is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable interviewer. Although some of the discussions are so specific they may be hard to follow for readers unfamiliar with the writers' works in question, this warmhearted collection capably introduces readers to new authors and illuminates the inherent tensions serious writers face in tackling spiritual themes. (Mar.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802862280
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
04/15/2008
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Dale Brown (1949-2014) was director of the BuechnerInstitute at King University, Bristol, Tennessee. Formerly hewas professor of English and director of the Festival of Faithand Writing at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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