Sunday, December 14, 2008

J.F. Powers: The Voice of 20th Century Catholicism
by Christopher J. Scalia
Since the death of J. F. Powers in 1999, admiring reviewers (all of his reviewers have been admiring) have mourned not only his death, but the general obscurity of his novels and stories. Although his first novel, Morte D'Urban, won the 1963 National Book Award -- over the more familiar names of John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, and Vladimir Nabokov -- and his work was praised by such major figures as Evelyn Waugh and Flannery O'Connor (more on her later), he is not very well known, even among Catholics whose Church and priests he wrote about with such skill, insight, heart, and humor.
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