cover image Radical Reinvention: 
An Unlikely Return to the 
Catholic Church

Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church

Kaya Oakes. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59376-431-9

Growing up, Oakes (Slanted and Enchanted) felt many a dark night of the soul, though at the time she didn’t know to call it such, and rather than turn to God, she turned into an angry, punk-rock, alterna-chick who preferred swearing and ranting over prayer. Yet now, on the cusp of midlife and all its crises, Oakes, a lecturer who teaches writing at UC Berkeley, is still swearing up a storm and taking the Lord’s name in vain, but she’s turned to God and can’t seem to look away. What’s more, she has discovered she is Catholic through and through, despite the Vatican’s politics (which she despises). This memoir tells the story of this unlikely convert—as she sees herself—in all its gory detail. Oakes doesn’t mince words or clean up her language, and doubt, frustration, and anger are frequent companions on her journey. Oakes not only treats readers to gorgeous prose, but manages to provide an overview and history of the best of the Catholic faith, without losing momentum. Fans of Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God will be happy to meet this Catholic girl who can turn a phrase, too. Agent: Michelle Brower, Folio Literary Management. (July)