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Fundamentalist Christianity Makes For Kick-Ass Fiction

For those of us who like a) reading (instead of, like, reading about reading about reading) and b) religious backdrop as narrative metaphor for the ways in which we as humans are alternately buoyed, seduced, heartbroken, and destroyed by the … Read More

By / February 7, 2007

For those of us who like a) reading (instead of, like, reading about reading about reading) and b) religious backdrop as narrative metaphor for the ways in which we as humans are alternately buoyed, seduced, heartbroken, and destroyed by the very things that are supposed to save us, Angela Pneuman’s new story collection is cause for non-denominational celebration. You may remember Angela from Jewcy’s inaugural Book Klatch (she’s waaaaaay articulate about craft and pedagogy). Home Remedies, out this month from Harcourt, is, according to Publisher’s Weekly, “a startling debut collection of stories peopled by Christian fundamentalists traversing various stages and crises of belief, grappling with intimacies that feel like an anxious mix of longing and repulsion, relating to one another in an uneasy balance of eagerness and wariness.” See, it’s not so much that God is problematic; it’s more that people who lay exclusive claim to Him tend to be insufferable wankrags. Can I get a witness? Anyway, the stories are beautifully written and the characters amazingly complex. For the love of Christ, The Luminous Lorrie Moore actually blurbed it! And she never blurbs! So buy it. Because religious ambivalence is about as universal as sexual initiation in the basement of a house of worship. Which is to say fairly f’ing universal.

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