f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Up Ahead in 2004

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Up Ahead in 2004

I don’t have my copy of God: Stories with me today, so I’m not able to offer my take on Louise Erdrich’s “Satan: Hijacker of a Planet,” but it’s an odd little tale that pushes toward magic realism, a genre we don’t often see in popular American fiction. Instead, I’ll take a paragraph or two to look to the future.

In 2004, I’ll be making a bigger acquisitions push to actually begin finding writers who want to publish the kind of fiction this journal discusses. Stones are going to be overturned, closets shaken out, and bushes beaten. I’m going to be at the Festival of Faith and Fiction in late April at Calvin College and hope to make some other appearances elsewhere, sometimes as observer and sometimes as participant.

In early 2004 (next week, I think), I’m going to begin a series paralleling this push for realistic fiction to the ongoing emergent church movement. They are not the same, but in some ways they grow out of a few shared ideals.

2004 will find us discussing more wonderful books of faith including Mark Salzman’s Lying Awake, hopefully something by Ron Hansen, my first reading of Frederick Buechner’s fiction, Michael O’Brien’s brick of a novel Father Elijah which lies waiting on my desk, and if the spirit catches me, Brothers Karamazov which I’ve always wanted to read. First up may actually be the hyper-popular DaVinci Code, Grisham’s Testament and the place of “popular” fiction in this discussion.

Also in 2004, I’m hoping to draft a few intrepid authors to chime in with their own impressions of this topic. If you’ve an essay that seems to fit and are all about the glory of seeing your work online without remuneration, feel free to contact me about an idea or two.

And on a personal note, I’ll be continuing my own writing hoping to improve on my two efforts in this vein so far.

So 2003 rumbles to a close and I’m left only to say Go with Providence in 2004. We’ll see you on Friday.