From the Wiseblood Books Weblog

It is Wiseblood Books’ fourth anniversary. This small Christian press published my book of short stories, A Flower in the Heart of the Painting. The editor, Joshua Hren, wrote a nice article on Wiseblood Books Weblog. Here is an interesting bit:

And yet Flannery O’Connor, in spite of her crutches, gave us legs to stand on. She gave us, in spite of her bad eyesight, a vision. She raised some crucial problems: in literary works written in a world that lives as though God is dead, do we need to shout so that the deaf can hear, draw large and startling figures so that the blind can see? Does not grace feel like violence, sometimes, and is not fiction particularly capable of dramatizing the awful conversions that can come of such disruption? Certain things have changed a great deal since O’Connor’s time. And yet things have largely stayed the same. When we try to say “God” in contemporary fiction, should we fake a sneeze at the same time? Lest it actually sound as though we were narrating some of the eternal questions of religion—of the nature of grace acting upon human life, of the problem of suffering, of the sacramental dimensions of nature, of conversion—even here in the Year of Our Lord 2017.

I really don’t like Flannery O’Connor’s writing much, but I don’t like to admit it because she is Christian and writer at the same time. Plus famous! And not sappy romantic. I like what Dr. Hren has to say about her work… do her figures have to be startling so the people in this world, with their eyes covered up to all mention of Christianity, are forced to see Christian truth? Maybe so. Sadly so. And I hope it’s not always so. I hope mainstream fiction can embrace thoughtful Christian truth in a more subtle way without being pushed aside as “too preachy” or “old-fashioned.” Until then, there’s Wiseblood Books. Perhaps it’s not mainstream, but it is an outlet for Christian literature.

This weblog article makes it sound as if Wiseblood Books publishes all Catholic literature. I just wanted to add that my book adopts my Protestant worldview, as does the book of short stories by Robert Vander Lugt, also published by Wiseblood.

Shoes and Class Distinctions

Without appearing to, Mrs. Turpin always noticed people’s feet. The well-dressed lady had on red and gray suede shoes to match her dress. Mrs. Turpin had on her good black patent leather pumps. The ugly girl had on Girl Scout shoes and heavy socks. The old woman had on tennis shoes and the white-trashy mother had on what appeared to be bedroom slippers, black straw with gold braid threaded through them–exactly what you would have expected her to have on.

— from “Revelation” by Flannery O’Connor

Do you notice people’s shoes and make class distinctions based on them? My favorite shoes at this time of year are an old pair of blue canvas shoes with white laces and big cracks at the in-step. I wonder what Mrs. Turpin would make of that.

If you are a Flannery O’Connor fan, you may be interested in a new book published by a company called Wiseblood Books. The book, The Unfinished Life of N. by Micah Cawber, is written in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor.  You can buy it here or on Amazon. Incidentally, Wiseblood Books is the same company publishing my book, A Flower in the Heart of the Painting, to be released on November 1, 2013. I’ll provide more details about that later this month.