5.02.2015

Come slowly, Lord Jesus

I have an essay in the forthcoming issue of the Christian Century. It's kind of an odd piece, about the novel Station Eleven, ISIS, and Jesus's response to the Pharisees' question about marriage in the afterlife. When I pitched it to my editor, he was understandably cautious. After all, what on earth do these complicated things have to do with one another?

In short: they all scare me.

I wrote the piece on spec with some urgency; it was one of those essays that got stuck in my head and had to be written before I could attend to anything else. I gratefully received some revision suggestions from friends and my editor, and am pleased with how it turned out.

It will be available to non-subscribers on the Century website for a couple of months, though of course as a contributor and member of the board, I heartily encourage you to subscribe!

As a general rule, I do not read dystopian fiction. Sometimes, however, my distaste for the genre is superseded by my pathological need to be a good book club member. I am loathe to skip a meeting, and I don’t like to attend without having read the book. This is how I came to read Station Eleven, the highly acclaimed 2014 National Book Award finalist by Emily St. John Mandel: under the duress of peer pressure. It’s a well-executed and en­grossing book that I cannot stop wishing I hadn’t read. 
I spent a recent Saturday with my nose in the book, if one can still use that phrase for reading a book on the Kindle app for iPad. I slept terribly that night, as I often do when my mind is enmeshed in something unpleasant. I dreamed myself into the disturbing near-future that Mandel imagines: a civilization extinguished by a massive influenza pandemic. Nearly everyone gone, and nearly everything gone, too.

... Continue reading at the Christian Century. If you like the piece, please "like" and share it with others via social media. Thank you!


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