From Publishers Weekly
Novelist and memoirist Gordon (Circling My Mother
) examines her faith by closely reading, in a kind of literary lectio divina
(sacred reading), the four Christian gospels that recount the life of Christ. The accounts by evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the life of Jesus have a common subject and amazingly different treatments. Gordon tackles the power and puzzle of the Christian gospels with measure and imagination, providing welcome relief for those left cold by scholarly or fundamentalist parsing. Raised Catholic, she writes as a layperson and cradle believer thrilled and troubled by these history-shaping texts, unafraid to articulate questions: what does it mean to be perfect? what exactly is a miracle? Her savoring of particular lines is poetic and amplifies the beauty and sometimes ambiguous challenge of the language, stories and injunctions of the gospels. Gordon writes to find out what she thinks and lets readers listen in. Those whose faith is infused with humanism and love of the power of words will love Gordon's words about matters and mysteries of faith. (Oct. 27)
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Advance Praise for Reading Jesus"A fresh and humane take on the Gospels. Gordon's approach is aware of, but not burdened by, doctrine. Her many insightful questions give expression to thoughts which have, for many readers and for many years, been waiting to be asked aloud."
—Mark Jarman, author of Epistles
"Gordon tackles the power and puzzle of the Christian gospels with measure and imagination, providing welcome relief for those left cold by scholarly or fundamentalist parsing . . . Her savoring of particular lines is poetic and amplifies the beauty and sometimes ambiguous challenge of the language, stories, and injunctions of the gospels."
Praise for Circling My Mother"What's inspiring about Circling My Mother is Gordon's deeply personal portrayal of her mother . . . a woman in full belief of the love of God . . . Accompanying the author while she comes to terms with her is thrilling."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Everywhere she looks, Gordon finds the same mix of life and strife, beauty and decay. There's no escaping the fact that one way or another, we lost what we hold dear. But remembrance is preservation. Art, we believe, immortalizes. Gordon's encircled portrait of her mother is a daring and perceptive work or memory, catharsis, and literary grace."
—Los Angeles Times
"Both wrenching and enlivening, resonant with candid emotion."
—The Boston Globe