Fiction

Pulitzer-prize winning author Marilynne Robinson spoke at Union Seminary in March 2014. Photo by Kristen Scharold

Pulitzer-Prize winning author Marilynne Robinson draws a wide fan base that spans lovers of serious literature, including many conservative Christians. This fall, she will release “Lila,” a follow-up to her earlier novels “Gilead” (2004) and “Home” (2008) about a 1950s-era Iowa town that won her many accolades.

Robinson’s diverse fan base was described in The American Conservative as “Christian, not Conservative.” As the author noted, Robinson is far from holding up ideals put forward by the religious right. But that doesn’t stop conservative Christians from engaging with her writing.

Before giving an address at Union Theological Seminary this spring, Robinson spoke to Religion News Service about a variety of social issues. In the interview, Robinson explained why she thinks Christians are fearful, why she loves theologian John Calvin and whether she’ll join Twitter. 

the Web Editors 12-19-2013
dodi31/Shutterstock

dodi31/Shutterstock

As you make your winter reading list or shop for gifts, consider these 2013 books from Sojourners magazine staff and contributors. Or, buy yourself a gift for 2014.

Adam Ericksen 11-21-2013
Nicholas Eckhart/flickr

Costco recently apologized for placing "fiction" stickers on Bibles. Nicholas Eckhart/flickr

The religion section of The Huffington Post published an article on Tuesday about how some Christians are responding to Costco. Unfortunately, it wasn’t about how Christians are celebrating the fact that this big-box store not only makes a profit and actually pays its employees a living wage.

That, after all, would be Good News.

No. These Christians have their panties in a bunch because Costco had Bibles labeled as fiction.

*Gasp*

Elizabeth Palmberg 11-05-2013

The Fatherless series (book one and two). FaithWords.

Bobbi Buchanan 06-05-2013

Anonymity. Köhler Books

Jim Rice 06-05-2013

Even at their best, toys like the American Girl Dolls send a mixed message.

Mallory McDuff 04-04-2013

Fiction with a climate change theme.

Julie Polter 04-04-2013

Novels to stretch the mind and heart.

Elizabeth Palmberg 04-04-2013

The Woman Who Died A Lot. Viking Adult

Mallory McDuff 01-24-2013
Man reading in the park, dragon_fang / Shutterstock.com

Man reading in the park, dragon_fang / Shutterstock.com

This winter, fiction revealed truth about climate change.  

As a teacher, I relish the escape provided by pleasure reading before I return to the classroom for the next semester at Warren Wilson College, where I teach environmental education. 

In December, without reading reviews or making a list, I visited my independent bookstore, Malaprop’s and purchased two books: Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior (2012) and Lauren Groff’s Arcadia (2012). I’m a long-time Kingsolver fan and bought her book as a gift, with the goal of reading it before wrapping it. And the cover of Arcadia, with its teal VW bus and field of sunflowers, drew me into purchasing what I thought was my second random choice for recreational reading. 

Both books, it turns out, integrated climate change into the plotline, weaving scientific truths about global warming into the lives of fictional characters. And just as compelling, both works of fiction featured spiritual community at the center of critical decisions about the future of the land and its inhabitants. 

Of note, critics have bemoaned the lack of fiction centered on climate change, a paucity that seemed to mirror our public denial of this scientific reality. In a 2010 blog on openDemocracy, professor and author Andrew Dobson even outlined the components of a  “climate-change novel” that include a grim future, characters who explore ethical choices around global warming, and (no surprise here) extreme weather events. He ended his piece with this challenge: “So there’s the recipe. Who’s going to write the book?” 

Julie Polter 05-01-2012

Four novels with nothing in common except storytelling done well.

Richard Vernon 05-01-2012

Nick Harkaway, writer of novels that brim with humor and meaning, talks about legacy, not-so-silly writing, and the moral to our stories.

Stacia M. Brown 03-01-2012

Excerpt from Accidents and Providence by Stacia M. Brown, 2012.

Joshua Witchger 09-21-2011
Nerd-dom covers vast swaths of territory, from Trekkies and Settlers of Catan enthusiasts to, apparently, at least a few followers of Christ.
Cathleen Falsani 09-19-2011

cathicowgirl1They call me ..."God Girl."*

And I'll be your new tour guide here at God's Politics.

Some of you may know me by my more official byline, Cathleen Falsani. I've been a contributing editor and columnist for Sojourners Magazine for several years now, writing a column every other month called "Godstuff" and also have contributed from time to time to this'a'here blog.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 07-13-2011

My favorite characters in The Lord of the Rings are the Ents -- an ancient race of giant living, talking, breathing trees in J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional land, Middle Earth. I have a little confession to make: Whenever I hear a reading from Isaiah 55 where it says, "The mountains and hills before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands," I always picture the Giant Ents from The Lord of the Rings. And then I picture these clapping trees from Isaiah holding little Hobbits in their branch arms in what ends up a willful conflation of Middle Earth and Major Prophet.

Jason Howard 06-21-2011
It's noon on the West Coast, and Ashley Judd is scurrying to make a live on-air interview with a National Public Radio local affiliate in Berkeley.
Betsy Shirley 10-21-2010

While perusing everything from Amish fiction to Zondervan's latest publications at the Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing this past April, I discovered what we here at Sojourners affectionately call the "Christian Literary Underground" -- a small group of literary magazines and independent book publishers that have "staked a cl

Brian McLaren 09-29-2010
What a great year for books. I've been enjoying some new ones and some old ones lately. Here are a few in various categories.

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