Friday, January 10, 2014

Top Ten Title

The honors keep pouring in for Flannery O'Connor's A Prayer Journal.  Religious News Service recently named it one of the ten most "intriguing books about religion" for 2013.  Its right up there  with such notable titles as My Bright Abyss by Christan Wiman, N.T. Wright's Paul and the Faithfulness of God, and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Raza Aslan.  That's pretty distinguished company.  While academia remains somewhat reserved about these youthful writings, the secular press has greeted the slender volume enthusiastically.  Ordinary readers are drawn to O'Connor's intimacy, open-heartedness, and vulnerability (a side of her personality one rarely sees in her later writings) as she pours out her soul to God.  Some have dismissed the writing as naive, but considering the fact that Flannery was in her early 20s when she was keeping the journal, I find it to be as sophisticated as it is compelling.  And I'm not the only one.  Though the book came out last November, we've already gone through two cases in our gift shop and are awaiting delivery of a third.  The publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is having a hard time keeping up with demand, too.  The book is already in its third printing.
- Mark

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