House Burns. Farm Threatened. Christian Fiction Revived? A Review of This Heavy Silence

The cover of Christy, Catherine Marshall’s 1967 work of Christian fiction, has stared at me from a thousand church library shelves over the years. The original paperback version shows a young woman in early 20th-century dress seemingly dancing through a mountain meadow like Julie Andrews in the Alps. Catherine Marshall created Christy as a tribute […]

Heartlands Best Reads of 2017:#1 Lincoln in the Bardo (& a recap)

There are certain things you know you’re going to find when you sit down to read a George Saunders story.  It will be weird, funny, engaging, and surprisingly deep.  I expected no less from Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders’ first novel and I was not disappointed. The book, which won the Man Booker Prize this year, […]

A God’s-Eye View: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 3 of 3

A town named Trinity is bound to have some things to say about God.  In this final segment of my interview with debut novelist Katherine James, (whose book, Can You See Anything Now?, was published in October), we dig into the the book and find a Christian vision.  For previous segments, click here. One of the […]

Free to Use Dangling Participles: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 2 of 3

Let’s not put Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now?, (recently reviewed here on Heartlands), into a box called Christian fiction.  She is a Christian and there are strong Christian themes in the book, but this is not an Amish romance.  James tackles difficult themes like suicide, cutting, and substance abuse with vivid, […]

Writing and Painting Through Pain: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 1 of 3

How can we see the world in new ways?  In her debut novel, Can You See Anything Now?, (recently reviewed here on Heartlands), Katherine James uses her background in painting and the difficult passages in her life to weave a story of a healing town named Trinity and the people who live in it.  It’s […]

Finding God in a Small Town: A Review of Can You See Anything Now?

You could hardly imagine two more different artists than the ones you meet in the opening pages of Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now? [Paraclete, 2017]. There’s Margie, who paints vivid canvases, attributing personal characteristics to still lifes, sketching nudes, and doing a grand scale work featuring ovens that make her daughter […]