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Posted April 24, 2014

Book: The Catholic Writer Today
Author: Dana Gioia
Wiserlood Books. Milwaukee, WI. 2014. Pp. 33

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Dana Gioia's The Catholic Writer Today confronts the practical fact that though Catholicism constitutes the largest religious and cultural group in the United States, Catholic writers are currently almost invisible in American public culture. After establishing a lucid definition of Catholic literature, Gioia examines the decline in Catholic literary culture since its great rise in the mid-twentieth century. He challenges Catholic writers to reoccupy and repair their great tradition.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Looking back on the mid-century era of O'Connor, Merton, Porter, and Tate, one could summarize the position of American literary culture with four characteristics. First, many important writers publicly identified themselves as faithful Catholics. Second, the cultural establishment accepted Catholicism as a possible and permissible artistic identity. Third, there was a dynamic and vital Catholic literary and intellectual tradition visibly at work in the culture. Fourth and finally, there as a critical and academic milieu that actively read, discussed, and supported the best Catholic writing. Today, not one of those four observations remains true. Paradoxically, despite the social, political, economic, and educational advancement made by Catholics over the past half century, our place in literary culture has dramatically declined.

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