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New Book Looks At Faith & Writing
March 27, 2006

Just in time for next month's Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin comes a book that features some of the best of past Festivals.

Shouts and Whispers: Twenty-One Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith edited by Jennifer HolbergShouts and Whispers: Twenty-One Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith is edited by Calvin College professor of English Jennifer Holberg.

The book is published by Eerdmans and due out in mid-April (just prior to the 2006 Festival of Faith & Writing which is slated for April 20-22 and will feature Alice McDermott, Salman Rushdie, Marilynne Robinson, Walter Wangerin, Jr. and many more).

All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the children's literacy charity, Reading Is Fundamental.

The new book includes interviews with such celebrated writers as Anne Lamott, Kathleen Norris and Paul Schrader and essays by such stalwarts as Frederick Buechner, Madeleine L'Engle, Bret Lott, Thomas Lynch, Katherine Paterson, Luci Shaw, Barbara Brown Taylor and Walter Wangerin Jr.

Holberg believes Shouts and Whispers offers a fascinating array of reflections on topics surrounding the often-perilous intersection of literature and belief.

"The authors use approaches that are as diverse as their biographies," says Holberg, "from Bret Lott's notes on reclaiming literary fiction to David James Duncan's exploration of the collisions between faith and writing."

Holberg notes that what the reflections do share is a common beginning at Calvin's Festival of Faith and Writing (which was launched in 1990 as Contemporary Christian Writers in Community, a small conference of fewer than 200 attendees).

Since then the biennial Festival has grown significantly. The 2004 version included almost 2,000 registrants.

"Anyone who has ever attended the Festival," says Holberg, "knows that no volume could ever come close to capturing the vitality and diversity of these many conversations. Instead this book seeks to celebrate what is important about that event: the significant discussions around the intersections of literature and faith that occur there."