January Selection

Book cover
Blue Nightsby Joan DidionKnopf. 188p $25

This month we feature two selections.

Prophets In Their Own Country is an historical and theological overview of the relationship between America’s women religious and the Vatican, after Rome’s investigation of various communities/congregations. (Some of the chapters originated as part of a series published in the National Catholic Reporter.) The author is emerita professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology/Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif. She is to be commended for the scholarship that imbues her study of “ministerial” or “apostolic” religious life, on biblical revelation and on how religious life is a prophetic life form in the church. In a forthcoming review of the book for America Marie Anne Mayeski writes, in part: “In both its method and its content, what this short book affirms about ministerial religious life is also important for ecclesiology.” And she rightly commends “the breadth of service” and “the ardor” of Catholic sisters throughout history.

Purchase Prophets in Their Own Country from amazon.com.

Joan Didion is the author of five novels and eight works of nonfiction including the bestselling memoir The Year of Magical Thinking. In her latest memoir, Blue Nights, Joan Didion reflects on matters of aging, failing health and death following the passing of her daughter of at age 39, after years of illness. Though not a light subject, admittedly, the book is at once moving and candid; and we believe many of our readers will resonate with the author’s iinsights and lived experience. She chose the title “Blue Nights,” she explains, “because at the time I began it I found my mind turning increasingly to…the end of promise…the dwindling of the days.” Readers who likewise ponder the big questions of creation will be in good company with Didion.

Purchase Blue Nights from amazon.com.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Don Quixote statue in Belgium. Photo by Dennis Jarvis
D. Scott Hendrickson reviews "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World" by William Egginton
In the spirit of the planting season, I offer tips for growing strong readers.
The Good Samaritan by Theodule Ribot. Source: Musee des beaux-arts de Pau
Dennis Vellucci reviews "Signals" by Tim Gautreaux.
Dennis VellucciApril 25, 2017
By Ferdinand Pauwels

This is a book I have long needed to read. Martin Luther is in the top tier of 16th-century greats whose life, actions and works forever changed the landscape of Christianity and, therefore, all of Western civilization. Yet my knowledge of the man himself was scant and tainted.

George T. DeasApril 25, 2017