Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Future of Catholic Fiction

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at about the future of Catholic fiction. Todd M. Aglialoro observes:

There's no question that Catholic fiction these days is pretty slim pickin’s. Those of us yearning for novels with Catholic themes, supported by a Catholic moral universe, are generally forced to go back fifty years, to Waugh or Greene or O'Connor. We hunt down Sigrid Unset, or play up the Catholic signals (just don't call it allegory!) in Tolkien. Or maybe we cruise used bookstores and seminary going-out-of-business sales for some of the many less-masterful but still quite solid examples of popular Catholic fiction that abounded in the first half of the last century…And so I ask, along with the frustrated authors, where is the Catholic fiction?

One respondent identifies Ron Hansen as a particularly good Catholic novelist. We’ve been reading a bit of Hansen ourselves lately and will be posting about his A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith & Fiction. (Surprisingly, though, nobody’s yet mentioned J.F. Powers, even as one of the great Catholic writers of the past.)


Anonymous said...

What about Andre Dubus?

C. Seamus said...

Dubus is a good addition to the conversation: highly respected by writers and even filmmakers ("In the Bedroom" and "We Don't Live Here Anymore" are based on his work), his stories also express a very strong Catholic identity. To be fair, though, the discussion at InsideCatholic focuses on living writers.