Testing the Faith: The New Catholic Fiction in America by Anita GandolfoTesting the Faith: The New Catholic Fiction in America by Anita Gandolfo

Testing the Faith: The New Catholic Fiction in America

byAnita Gandolfo

Hardcover | January 1, 1992

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Since 1965 there has been an explosion of fiction about being Catholic, clearly a result of confusions in the post-Vatican II church. American Catholic culture has suffered severe dislocations, and fiction has provided one way of coping with those dislocations. In Testing the Faith, Anita Gandolfo provides an overview of fiction about the American Catholic experience. The book considers emerging novelists such as Mary Gordon and Valerie Sayers and established writers like Paul Theroux. Among the popular writers covered are Andrew Greeley and William X. Keinzle. The volume also considers the emergence of new, young writers, such as Jeanne Schinto, Sheila O'Connor, and Philip Deaver. By analyzing patterns in contemporary Catholic fiction, Gandolfo shows both the shared interest these writers have in the Catholic experience and their individual perspectives on that experience. The book is the first to consider post-Vatican II Catholic literature, and will be of interest to those concerned with both the Catholic experience and current literature.
Title:Testing the Faith: The New Catholic Fiction in AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.59 × 6.31 × 0.99 inPublished:January 1, 1992Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313278431

ISBN - 13:9780313278433

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

?Because Catholic fiction sometimes smacks of pietism at one end and rebellion at the other, some critics tend not to give it serious attention. Gandolfo's book, however, provides a serious critique for various modes and particular novelists of Catholic fiction produced since 1965, the close of the Second Vatican Council. To establish a contrast, Gandolfo opens with a chapter describing devotional Catholicism and a naive idealism typical of pre-Vatican II. The remainder of the book deals with novels fraught with the dismay, disillusionment, and rebellion of Catholics in recent decades. The excellence of the book goes beyond the accuracy of the portrayal of the perplexity of the layman and the complex problems facing priests and nuns. Gandolfo is not dealing with a sociological problem, but is analyzing fiction that depicts characters involved in a problematic society as viewed dramatically. She examines integrity of structure and consistency of character. Andrew Greeley gets his comeuppance for using his fiction to inveigh against the Cardinal and for generating a series of drugstore novels. Andre Dubus and Walker Percy, (among others) receive their due praise for authentic human drama. Recommended for both public and academic libraries, this book can also serve as a model to those who attempt to critique religious fiction.?-Choice