cover image Spiritual Quests: The Art and Craft of Religious Writing

Spiritual Quests: The Art and Craft of Religious Writing

William Knowlton Zinsser. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16.45 (189pp) ISBN 978-0-395-48616-0

The third volume of the Writer's Craft series, based on talks given each winter at the New York Public Library, presents six American writers whose work has its basis in spiritual concerns. Mary Gordon, the highly praised novelist ( Final Payments ), speaks eloquently of the nurturance given to her youthful imagination by Catholic liturgy. Frederic Buechner ( Godric ) traces a correlation between faith and fiction: ``both journey forward in time and space and draw their life from that journey.'' The other four writers are equally eloquent: Hugh Nissenson, who has written about Jewish and Protestant experiences; poet Allen Ginsberg, deeply influenced by Eastern religions; Jaroslav Pelikan, author of The Christian Tradition ; and David Bradley, who describes himself as ``touched by the fire.'' Their widely different approaches all testify to the connection between faith and art. An informal bibliography of each writer's favorite books makes this a doubly instructive volume. Zinsser is the author of On Writing Well. (September)