Unruly Catholic Women Writers: Creative Responses to Catholicism

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As patron saints go, one could have worse than Flannery O’Connor, and in the introduction to Unruly Catholic Women Writers, the editors adopt that unruly Catholic woman writer as theirs. O’Connor, like the creative women in this collection, used Catholicism as a microscope: faith as a lens to study the human condition.

Catholic school features prominently in this collection, as you might expect, and the majority of the stories, essays, and poems use this fertile ground very well. Most of the writers examine, with creativity and respect (almost with reverence), not only how and why they’ve left the Church, but also what the Church gave them. The best of these pieces are mature and thoughtful; there are, happily, very few screeds in this collection. Those that are reactionary condemnations of the faith announce themselves as such early on and are easy to skip.

These unruly women are rightly critical of the Church that shaped and alienated them, but it is not mere rejection of an ancient patriarchal society that drives this anthology. Rather, these are the stories, the songs, the prayers, of children who long to forgive, to see their broken home repaired, to come home.


Reviewed By:

Author Jeana DelRosso, Leigh Eicke, Ana Kothe, editors
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Excelsior Editions
Publish Date 2013-Nov-20
ISBN 9781438448305
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2014
Category Poetry & Short Stories
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