Ordinary Wednesday: Unfinished Business

As a teacher, I have strange dreams. Often they involve classes wildly out of control, or me being absurdly late to a class. The schools in which I teach are often an amalgam of all the schools I have known: the primary and secondary schools that I attended, as they were in the 90s, andContinue reading “Ordinary Wednesday: Unfinished Business”

Unexpected Grace: Ten conversion novels you should read

Sadly, literature that brings faith authentically to bear on the world is a rare thing. But here are ten novels that use the narrative of conversion to show faith and grace colliding with the ordinary, the sordid and the plain broken. Not all are by professing believers. Not all are orthodox. But all are compellingContinue reading “Unexpected Grace: Ten conversion novels you should read”

Uncovered Gems #4: François Mauriac

The list of Nobel laureates for Literature contains more French men than it does of any other demographic. That should not put you off reading Mauriac. But you may have trouble locating his work. His most famous novel, Thérèse Desqueyroux, is possibly the only one you’ll find in a bookshop today, due to the recentContinue reading “Uncovered Gems #4: François Mauriac”

Uncovered Gems #3: “The Singer” by Calvin Miller

“How did you manage to make them cherish all this nothingness?” he asked the World Hater. “I simply make them feel embarrassed to admit that they are incomplete. A man would rather close his eyes than see himself as your Father-Spirit does. I teach them to exalt their emptiness and thus preserve the dignity ofContinue reading “Uncovered Gems #3: “The Singer” by Calvin Miller”

Uncovered Gems #2: Ruth Pitter

Last week I posted a poem in honour of Christina Rossetti, who I declared one of the Anglican church’s greatest literary exports. Today, in this week’s uncovering, I want to share with you the work of a widely forgotten gem, the Anglican poet Ruth Pitter. I have my friend Nathanael to thank for this discovery,Continue reading “Uncovered Gems #2: Ruth Pitter”

The Language of Flowers: For Christina Rossetti

As an Anglican myself, I have to say that our literary exports don’t get much better than Christina Rossetti. Granted, she’s in formidable company, alongside George Herbert, John Donne, William Cowper, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot and R.S. Thomas (why did you need to have the middle initial S in order to be a successful 20th-centuryContinue reading “The Language of Flowers: For Christina Rossetti”

Uncovered gems #1: Eleanor Spence, “Me and Jeshua”

“We’ll have follow-the-leader,” Jacob decided, “and Jeshua can be the leader.” “No – you do it,” said Jeshua. “I like it better being last.” (Eleanor Spence, Me and Jeshua, 1984) Australian author Eleanor Spence has not been completely forgotten. Text Publishing recently reprinted her novel Lillipilly Hill as part of their Australian classics collection, andContinue reading “Uncovered gems #1: Eleanor Spence, “Me and Jeshua””

Five Nobel Laureates that should be better known

The week just passed has seen quite a bit of controversy (some of which I’ve participated in) over Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for Literature win. My personal favourite was the Tweeter who seemed confused over which Nobel Dylan won and felt prompted to say that, as good as it was that Dylan had won aContinue reading “Five Nobel Laureates that should be better known”