Art and religion, in their different ways, seek to find the center of things, the reality at the heart of the concrete. At times, they meet. Mark Salzman explores contemplative prayer in his brief, beautifully written third novel. It's the story of Sister John of the Cross, a member of a Carmelite monastery outside Los Angeles.
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood may be most familiar to religious audiences for her 1986 novel The Handmaid's Tale, which satirizes the religious hypocrisy of the right, the political pretensions of the left and the dangerous complacency of the vast uncommitted middle.