Books

Books

A Complicated Kindness



Many novels have been written from the point of view of someone railing against an oppressive religious upbringing. Few, however, are as funny yet sympathetic as Miriam Toews’s outstanding third novel, which won last year’s Governor General’s Award in Canada. Toews beat out Alice Munro for the prize—no mean feat.

Jesus: The prequel

Anne rice, well-known author of many novels about vampires, has returned to the Roman Catholic Church and turned her writing energies to the subject of Jesus. I couldn’t help being intrigued. Perhaps there is a sense in which Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is a response to years of battling with the undead.

Textbook case

Public schools have been a primary battleground between the despisers and defenders of religion. The forces of secularity have pounded steadily forward on the prayer front, pushing into a tiny meditative corner those who want schools to reflect and teach spiritual, and even specifically Christian, values.