Cover image for The best Catholic writing 2004
The best Catholic writing 2004
Doyle, Brian, 1956 November 6-
Publication Information:
Chicago : Loyola Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xv, 228 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX2350.3 .B48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In this first anthology in the annual Best Catholic Writing series, today's most powerful, provocative voices on Catholic matters are brought together in a celebration of Catholic writing and the Catholic literary heritage. Exploring the question What is Catholic writing? editor Brian Doyle proposes that it is not only writing by Catholics, for Catholics, or on Catholic matters, but is also catholic, universal, in nature. The works collected in The Best Catholic Writing 2004 are wide-ranging, eloquent, and riveting. With essays on Catholic art, conjugal sex, and Harry Potter; a remembrance of Dorothy Day; an elegy for Fred Rogers; examinations of the current dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church; and poetic reflections on faith and the Catholic life, this anthology serves as "a form of prayer, a communal story swap, a jolt of hope." Featuring such writers as Alice McDermott, Andrew Greeley, Paul Elie, and Kathleen Norris, this first-ever collection of best Catholic writing reveals that "everything, seen with a clear enough eye, is meant for the Catholic mind."

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Doyle introduces the first volume in this series by attempting to answer the question, "What is Catholic writing?" His gleanings from books and such Catholic periodicals as America, Commonweal, First Things, National Catholic Reporter, St. Anthony Messenger and U.S. Catholic elaborate more fully on the question, but Doyle makes clear at the outset that he prefers to define the genre broadly. To be Catholic, he posits, writing need not necessarily be by Catholics or even about what he calls "churchiana." Rather, he suggests, "Catholic is also, delightfully, miraculously, catholic." For him, anything that grapples with the larger questions of human existence qualifies. Thus, included in this collection are Kathleen Norris's "The Grace of Aridity, & Other Comedies," an essay drawn from life on South Dakota's plains and published in Portland Magazine (which Doyle edits), as well as Murray Bodo's "Holy Orders," a rich and thoughtful reflection on life as a Franciscan priest. There are poems by Judith Valente, Paul Mariani and Doyle, essays by priests and lay people and an address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Despite Doyle's wide boundaries, most of the works are laced with Catholic imagery; more importantly, all are examples of good writing. Doyle has chosen well and readers who delve into this inaugural volume likely will look forward to the 2005 edition. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is the inaugural volume of a new annual project that seeks to collect and represent the most significant Catholic writing in a chosen year. Doyle, already a critically reviewed editor, now selects 28 essays and poems from leading journals and published books and creates a single anthology of Catholic literary talent. The contributors come from varied backgrounds and range from academics and pastors to professional authors. Some easily recognized greats are John L. Allen Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter, Scott Appleby and Lawrence Cunningham of the University of Notre Dame, Andrew Greeley, and Kathleen Norris. The entries range in topic as well as length, averaging between five and eight pages, and can be easily used in meditation on a daily basis. Brief biographical sketches of each writer complete this enjoyable book. Recommended for larger public libraries.-John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin-Platteville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.