Michael Lowenthal
Graywolf Press, $16, 256 pp.

The best novel that has come or is likely to come out of the Catholic sexual child-abuse scandal appeared late last year, and it happens to be a work by a Jew in which no Catholic appears. Michael Lowenthal’s only contact with the Roman Catholic Church, so far as I know, is that he teaches creative writing at a Catholic university, Boston College.

Not to be coy, Avoidance is neither a novel with a Catholic setting nor a roman à...

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About the Author

Jack Miles is Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Senior Fellow for Religion and International Affairs for with the Pacific Council on International Policy.