Shouts and Whispers: Twenty-One Writers Speak about Their Writing and Their Faith

Overview

Flannery O'Connor once wrote that "to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." Some of the twenty-one well-known writers included in this book prefer to "shout," as O'Connor did, while others offer what Doris Betts calls "whispering hope." Shouts and Whispers contains a fascinating array of reflections on topics surrounding the often-perilous intersection of writing and faith. The authors all agree that literature can help us to be more faithful, yet they ...

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Overview

Flannery O'Connor once wrote that "to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." Some of the twenty-one well-known writers included in this book prefer to "shout," as O'Connor did, while others offer what Doris Betts calls "whispering hope." Shouts and Whispers contains a fascinating array of reflections on topics surrounding the often-perilous intersection of writing and faith. The authors all agree that literature can help us to be more faithful, yet they approach the subject in ways as diverse as their biographies. Some, like Katherine Paterson and Frederick Buechner, propose models of how literature and belief can fruitfully intersect. Several authors offer insightful metaphors for the experience of doing faith-filled writing, while others speak of writing as finding hope in the midst of brokenness. Finally, in essays by Madeleine L'Engle, Thomas Lynch, and others, readers are encouraged to make the connection between writing and embodiment, translating words into actions. While the essays, addresses, and interviews in Shouts and Whispers are by no means the final word, they will provoke rich and nuanced reflection on the dynamic relationship between faith and writing.Interviews with: Joy Kogawa Anne Lamott Kathleen Norris Paul SchraderEssays by Doris Betts Frederick Buechner Will Campbell Betty Smartt Carter Elizabeth Dewberry David James Duncan Ron Hansen Silas House Jan Karon Madeleine L'Engle Bret Lott Thomas Lynch Katherine Paterson James Calvin Schaap Luci Shaw Barbara Brown Taylor Walter Wangerin Jr.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What does it mean to be a writer working in a context of faith? Answers to this question and others are the crux of this meaty, thoughtful volume of essays edited from speeches and interviews at the biennial Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing. As with most collections, there is some unevenness but also welcome diversity. The essays range from the gentle simplicity of Jan Karon to David James Duncan's assertion that when writing and faith collide, we'll need to find ways to clean up the "wreckage." Katherine Paterson deservedly gets two chapters; Madeleine L'Engle offers an autobiographical look at writing fiction; and literary novelist Bret Lott is unabashedly evangelical. It's hard to go wrong with essays from the esteemed Frederick Buechner, Ron Hansen (who remarks on the "sabotage of the fictional dream by forcing one's characters to perform the role of mouthpieces"), Elizabeth Dewberry or the delightful Thomas Lynch. There are also interviews with Anne Lamott and Kathleen Norris, and Garry Wills's excellent conversation with screenplay writer and film director Paul Schrader. This collection should be required study for writers of faith and their readers. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802832290
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
Way Beyond Belief: The Call to Behold 1
Image and Imagination 13
The Eyes of the Heart 29
Whispering Hope 35
Why Have We Given Up the Ghost? Notes on Reclaiming Literary Fiction 43
An Interview by Linda Buturian 61
Glory into Glory 72
Writing as Subversion 85
Writing as an Act of Worship 95
Faith and Fiction 105
An Interview by Garry Wills 113
The Miracle and the Myth 120
Writing and Knowing 130
No Bible-Beating Allowed 152
An Interview by Henry Baron 162
Tired of Victory, Bored by Defeat: Restoring Proper Sadness to Christian Art 172
The Collision of Faith and Fiction: Cleaning Up the Wreckage 183
An Interview by Linda Buturian 194
Reversing Entropy 201
The Cosmic Questions 214
Faith and Fashion Blunders: Shifting Metaphors of Mortality 225
Making Meaning 240
Acknowledgments 256
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