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A Stay Against Confusion
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In this rich collection of essays, Hansen talks about his novels, his childhood and family, and about such mentors as John Gardner. He explores prayer, stigmata, 20th-century martyrs, and the Eucharist.
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What "faith and fiction" have done for one prize-winning novelist (Mariette in Ecstasy). Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

In this rich, eloquent and thoughtful group of essays, literature professor and award-winning novelist Hansen (Atticus; Hitler's Niece) muses on the subjects of fiction writing and transcendent faith. "Writing," he claims, "can be viewed as a sacrament insofar as it provides graced occasions of encounter between humanity and God." Hansen sees both the act of writing and the Catholic sacraments as experiences to be lived more than interpreted. When the two are completely defined and understood, they lose their mystery and power. Hansen explores the writings and life of his friend John Gardner, the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Leo Tolstoy's "Master and Man" and Isak Dinesen's story "Babette's Feast," along with the latter's film version. Along the way he speaks of Jesus' parables, the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, the Eucharist, the stigmata, the Anima Christi prayer and his grandfather. Through all these seemingly disparate narrative threads, Hansen helps readers achieve a glimpse of grace and God. He speaks of his own strong Irish Catholic upbringing (pre- and post-Vatican II) and how its traditions have enhanced his life and writing, even when he was in the "insubordination" phase of his life. Anyone who is passionate about good writing, or perchance sees it as a holy exercise, will agree with Hansen that good fiction can enrich spiritual faith. This is a deeply satisfying read. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

?A book that shines as a consequence of an accomplished writer's deeply felt (and understood) moral and spiritual energy.?Robert Coles, author of Lives of Moral Leadership "Rich, eloquent and thoughtful ... This is a deeply satisfying read."Publishers Weekly ?Wise and searching.?Wall Street Journal ?Erudite and meditative, A Stay Against Confusion?depicts a profound, complex spirituality?brims with intelligence, passion and conviction.?San Francisco Chronicle "Refreshing and enlightening ? only rarely does any writer explain himself so clearly and so courageously."Los Angeles Times "This vital new collection of essays ? is a generous benefaction ? fascinating ? courageous."Rick Moody, Book Forum "Wise and searching." -- Wall Street Journal "This vital new collection of essays . is a generous benefaction . fascinating . courageous." -- Rick Moody, Book Forum "Refreshing and enlightening . only rarely does any writer explain himself so clearly and so courageously." -- Los Angeles Times "Rich, eloquent and thoughtful ... This is a deeply satisfying read."--Publishers Weekly "This vital new collection of essays ... is a generous benefaction ... fascinating ... courageous."--Rick Moody, Book Forum "A book that shines as a consequence of an accomplished writer's deeply felt (and understood) moral and spiritual energy."--Robert Coles, author of Lives of Moral Leadership "Wise and searching."--Wall Street Journal "Refreshing and enlightening ... only rarely does any writer explain himself so clearly and so courageously."--Los Angeles Times "Erudite and meditative, A Stay Against Confusion...depicts a profound, complex spirituality...brims with intelligence, passion and conviction."--San Francisco Chronicle Erudite and meditative, A Stay Against Confusion depicts a profound, complex spirituality brims with intelligence, passion and conviction. --San Francisco Chronicle" "Refreshing and enlightening only rarely does any writer explain himself so clearly and so courageously."--Los Angeles Times" Wise and searching. --Wall Street Journal" A book that shines as a consequence of an accomplished writer s deeply felt (and understood) moral and spiritual energy. --Robert Coles, author of Lives of Moral Leadership" "This vital new collection of essays is a generous benefaction fascinating courageous."--Rick Moody, Book Forum"

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