If Not Fiction, Then Nonfiction

Christmas Critics

“Never deny; seldom confirm; always distinguish.” That formula for disputation—Flannery O’Connor by way of Thomas Aquinas—was in mind often in 2013, a year in which I devoted a lot of attention to distinguishing.

After the New York Times ran an essay of mine about Christian belief and contemporary fiction, the disputations began. How could I say there are no believing novelists, or novelizing believers? Why, there is X, of course, Y pointed out. Z wrote to the paper to say, “...

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About the Author

Paul Elie, an editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own (FSG), is writing a book about the music of Bach in the age of recordings.