Tremor Of Bliss by Paul Elie
Contemporary Writers on the Saints

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Few stories are as cherished- and as contested-as the lives of the saints: the joyful St. Francis of Assai, the steadfast St. Joseph, the mystical St. Therese of Lisieux. In this book twenty distinguished writers explore the deep and varying responses the saints inspire in us today. Richard Bausch recalls going with Walker Percy to a church named for St. Thomas Aquinas, where they, like the saint, sought to reconcile reason and faith; Tobias Wolff ponders St. Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary whose faithful efforts to spread the Gospel placed him in opposition to Native Americans; Francine Prose celebrates St. Teresa of Avila as a woman whose sense of irony was a virtue as saintly as her prayerfullness. In these eloquent and moving essays, the saints emerge as fascinating paradoxes: like Eliot's St. Thomas a Becket, they have had a "tremor of bliss," but they must fight all-too-mortal battles with despair, social indifference, and harness of heart. By turns historical and personal, contemplative and matter-of-fact, this provocative collection of contemporary writing poses spiritual questions with uncommon intelligence and grace.

About Paul Elie

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Paul Elie (born 1965) is an American writer and editor.His book The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage received a 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award nomination. Since 1993 he has been an editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is also a long-time contributor to the Catholic journal Commonweal.Born in New York, he holds a B.A. from Fordham University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University.
Published November 1, 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 300 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Ruminating on St. John of the Cross, novelist David Plante ends with a prayer that his writing be ``not about what has to do with me, but about what has to do with the great and the brilliant darkness of God.'' Francine Prose finds a resonant ironic tone in the writings of St. Theresa of Avila;

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