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Saint-Watching Hardcover – August 18, 1969


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (August 18, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670167754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670167753
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2002
Format: Unbound
I absolutely love Phyllis McGinley's "Saint-Watching." It is a book filled with humor, wit, and honesty. It is a treasure that should have a much larger reading audience. Even if this is not an area you have ever had an interest in, I recommend it most highly to you.
The saints used to be a big deal. Time has changed all that. Still, what is the meaning of the word "saint" in the present day? While the saints surely still serve as guides to a few, they have taken on an air of incomprehensibility for many others. Even most Christians have a hard time with what the term "saint" means.
All too often when we speak of saints in modern times, images of the self-hating joyless ascetic spring to mind. The only problem is that most of the people we call saints were the furthest thing from these images.
What Phyllis McGinley restores to the image of the saints is their basic humanity. These women and men were no different from you or I. Some were shockingly earthy. Some did indeed live among the clouds. All loved their Savior with great fervor.
The stories contained in "Saint-Watching" are insightful and very entertaining. I recommend them wholeheartedly to you. Find a copy of this book and see for yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Phyllis McGinley was a poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1961. I remember reading criticisms about her because her poetry tended to glorify, or at least put in a good light, the life of a suburban housewife. One can imagine how politically incorrect this kind of literary reflection was after her Pulitzer award. Yet a poet she was, and good one, apparently. And the great writing of a good poet is a gift that this book about saints gives to us. So it is not just the subject matter - the lives of the saints in their unadorned reality, that is, without the whitewashing that is usually provided to young schoolchildren preparing for their sacraments. No, these are the saints in the raw, so to speak, with their flaws as evident as their virtues. Sanctity does not mean, or even imply, perfection. Sanctity is a constant struggle toward holiness, a struggle because there is always falling to temptation and backsliding (as Protestants would say). But it's the struggle that makes the saint. McGinley still does make clear to us what separates the true saints from the rest of us - their literal interpretation of the word s of Jesus, for example. If Our Lord said give everything up and live for the poor, that's what they did - See St. Francis. They respond to the call wholeheartedly, even if with hesitation, although that hesitation usually comes from doubt in the self, not from doubt in the One who is calling. McGinley treats her subjects under different categories - saints according to their land origin, for example. Loyola the consummate Spaniard; Rose of Lima a product of her environment, her harsh and even violet penances perhaps abhorrent to our modern sensibilities but understandable to her contemporaries.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maureen M. on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book is out of print, I would highly recommend checking library shelves for it. The author shares delightful stories of the saints, as she knocks off the plaster casts and tells of their humanity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe in Florida on September 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful new insight into the lives and accomplishments of many of the important (and not so important) saints.
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More About the Author

Phyllis McGinley was born on March 21, 1905, in Ontario, Oregon. In 1908, the family relocated to Colorado; they moved to Ogden, Utah, after the death of McGinley's father. McGinley was educated at the University of Southern California and at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After receiving her diploma in 1927, she taught for a year in Ogden and then at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York. Once she had begun to establish a reputation for herself as a writer, McGinley gave up teaching and moved to New York City, where she held various jobs, including copywriter at an advertising agency and poetry editor for Town and Country. She married Charles Hayden in 1937, and the couple moved to Larchmont, New York. The suburban landscape and culture of her new home was to provide the subject matter of much of McGinley's work.

McGinley was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters in 1955. She was the first writer to win the Pulitzer for her light verse collection, Times Three: Selected Verse from Three Decades with Seventy New Poems (1960). McGinley's other books of poetry include Confessions of a Reluctant Optimist (Hallmark Editons, 1973); Love Letters (1954); Stones from a Glass House (1946); A Pocketful of Wry (1940); One More Manhattan (1937); and On the Contrary (1934). In addition to poetry, McGinley wrote essays and children's books, as well as the lyrics for the 1948 musical revue Small Wonder. She died February 22, 1978, in New York City.

(biography from poets.org)

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