Interior States: Essays

Meghan O’Gieblyn. Anchor, $16 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-525-56270-2
O’Gieblyn, whose essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Best American Essays, and the New York Times, muses on various religious topics in this delightful debut. Standout essays include “Dispatch from Flyover Country,” about her experiences being raised in a Midwestern fundamentalist family fixated on the end times, and “A Species of Origins,” about her visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. With her tongue planted in her cheek, she also writes on Christian rock music, contemporary culture in the Midwest, and the political views of Vice President Pence. Each essay is well-crafted and enjoyable, yet the collection as a whole feels scattered: though many of the essays address the central themes of faith (especially Christian faith) in American life, the overall organization is puzzling, and some of the works are removed from the theme, such as a book review of Emma Donoghue’s novel The Wonder. Still, O’Gieblyn is a strong writer, and the individual essays flow due to the moving prose, the author’s subtle sense of irony, and her deep insight into and affection for her topics. Although the collection never congeals, these distinct pieces shine individually. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/09/2018
Ebook - 978-0-385-54384-2
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