Catholic fiction


Over at the Catholic group blog Vox Nova, M.Z. Forrest is trying to compile a list of great Catholic fictional literature, which he defines to include “Catholic, Orthodox, and high Anglican authors.” To get the discussion going, his initial list includes four authors, one of whom was an Anglican:

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov

C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

J.R.R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, War and Peace

There is now a lively discussion on the blog about what else belongs on the list–and why it qualifies as Catholic. You can join the discussion here, but be sure to let us know here what else you think belongs on ths list.

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5 Responses to "Catholic fiction"
  1. Here is my list:

    Mariette in Ecstasy by Mark Hansen

    Silence by Shusaku Endo

    The Second Coming by Walker Percy

    The Diary of a Country Priest by George Bernanos

    A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone (largely because of the character of the young nun.)

    The Heart of the Matter (even more so than The Power and the Glory or The End of the Affair) by Graham Greene

    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

    Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor

    I've also enjoyed the novels of a writer whose name escapes me concerning a priest who lived, I think, in northern Minnesota.

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  2. I would add Endo's Deep River in addition to Silence.

    Is a classic author like Dickens' "high Anglican" enough, I wonder? A Tale of Two Cities, for example, has some pretty powerful christological themes in its pages.

    Also, there's C.S. Lewis' lesser known space trilogy, which deals with Catholic themes of orginal sin, reconciliation, and human hubris.

    This might be out of the bounds of the question, but I can't help but add Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible for its fascinating study of redemption.

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  3. Not a novel but a treasure of occasional prose: Flannery O'Connor's Mystery and Manners, with a chapter on being a Catholic novelist.

    The Moviegoer by Walker Percy...beat Catch 22 for the National Book Award in 1962.

    I wrote an essay about it, sorta, Surface Banana

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  4. Descent into Hell, Shadows of Ecstasy, The Place of the Lion, The Greater Trumps, Many Dimensions, and the other novels of Charles Williams. The preceding are all I can name from memory. Also, his Taliesin Through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars, great sequences of poetry.

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