Joe Mackall’s memoir is the story of the author’s “going home again.” Home is Parma, Ohio, and the blue-collar Catholic neighborhood on the edge of Cleveland near a GM plant where he grew up. In this community everyone goes to St.
To counter the pervasive influence of religion in our mountain hometown, my father once loaned me his copy of Mark Twain’s satirical Letters from the Earth. A decade later I encountered Twain’s barbed commentary on a famous line from the Sermon on the Mount.
There are some writers—a handful, a very few—who by looking intently and penetratingly at one place reveal piercing things about all places and all people, and so paradoxically they are the very antithesis of regional writers. Among them: Faulkner on Mississippi, Walker Percy on Louisiana, Steinbeck on California—and Alice McDermott on Irish Catholic New York.
Palestinians, Israelis and others active in peace and human rights work sigh when political dilettantes come to the Holy Land convinced that they will start the dialogue group that will bring peace—as though no one had thought of promoting dialogue before.