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A Word About Writing: One Author, Seven Questions

An Interview with Brendan Kiely, by Celia Johnson

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New York Times bestselling author Colum McCann describes The Gospel of Winter as “both unflinching and redemptive.” Unflinching is a word that often came to my mind as I read Brendan Kiely’s debut novel. His protagonist, Aidan Donovan, is the victim of sexual abuse. And there are other problems. He dabbles in drugs and is, like most teens, clumsily trying to figure out his own sexuality. Donovan isn’t the only flawed character in Kiely’s book. In fact, none are simply heroes. But therein lies the beauty, at those points when some of his most troubled characters commit truly heroic acts. The Gospel of Winter was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, a Young Adult imprint at Simon & Schuster, but as I discussed with Kiely, among other things, this book, in its unflinching sophistication, is clearly for adults, too.

In your novel, you explore child abuse within the Catholic Church. What drew you to write this particular story? And were you nervous about tackling such a difficult subject?

The story of the worldwide abuse and the cover up of that abuse within the Catholic Church seemed to me a broken promise of the worst magnitude, and while... Read more

In the Telling

Helen Philips

In our latest installment of the In the Telling series, listen to Helen Phillips read from her story “The Wedding Stairs,” which appears in Issue 13: The Unknown.

Helen Phillips is the author of the novel-in-fables And Yet They Were Happy, published by Leapfrog Press in 2011, and the children’s adventure novel Here... Read more

Encounters in Publishing

#43: Regretful Rejections, by Maria Gagliano

Back in Issue 11, I’d curated a nonfiction piece called Regretful Rejections. It was a collection of stories from book editors who’d regretted passing on a proposed book, or otherwise couldn’t get things together in time to make an offer on the project. Here are some highlights from the piece. I’m cutting the editors’ names, so they don’t have... Read more

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