Believer, Beware: First-Person Dispatches from the Margins of Faith

Beacon Press  2009

A Catholic collector of Yiddish books, a Jew in search of Sufis, a witch named Velvet, even a lesbian cowboy at Bible camp. These are just a few of the characters you’ll meet in the surprising collection of essays in Believer, Beware. And beware indeed because the authors of each of these essays walk the precarious line between faith and atheism, between individual convictions and family history, between the widely accepted mores that come with a religious upbringing and the sometimes unconventional, sometimes dark, and always personal experiences these authors have had with religion. 

The writing in this collection is exquisite. Jeff Sharlet’s “Everybody Has a Mother, and They All Die” is a notable example, but each and every essay was a pleasure to read. But as enjoyable as the book is, and as light as much of the writing is, the questions the book grapples with are profound. These essays are independent of each other and many are just a few pages long, making this the perfect book to read in between sandwich bites during a lunch hour. Contributors’ Notes.

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