You all know that I’m really interested in faith and literature, and that I love when authors can pull off that combination well, without coming off as sappy or clichéd. Everybody knows the famous Inkling authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and I’m a huge fan of theirs. Today I’d like to mention some of my favorite Christian authors who may not be quite as famous as these two.
Historical (i.e. they’re dead)
Charles Williams was another of the Inklings, probably the third best known. He is remembered today for his supernatural novels (War in Heaven is a good one to start with) and to a lesser extent, his Arthurian poetry. I wrote my Master’s thesis on his poetry, so that’s obviously my favorite of his works.
Madeleine L’Engle is best known for her Time trilogy; the first book, A Wrinkle in Time, won the Newbery medal. These three books aren’t all she wrote about Calvin, Meg, Charles Wallace, and their families, though; there are at least eight. Most of L’Engle’s books are for children or young adults, but she wrote for adults as well. Some of my favorites of her books are A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Ring of Endless Light, and Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. I was lucky enough to work in the Wheaton College Archives with their Madeleine L’Engle collection as an undergraduate; I came to love her as a person through her correspondence, even though I never met her.
Walker Percy was a Southern writer who died in 1990. My favorite novel of his is The Second Coming. I was introduced to Percy by Dr. McClatchey at Wheaton, and after we read the book, I wrote to Percy and actually received a letter back from him. It’s probably worth something now, if I could find it!
Frederick Buechner isn’t dead that I know of, but he is another author I first read at Wheaton, so I’ll put him in this bunch to balance it out. Buechner is another author I found through Dr. McClatchey. The Book of Bebb is my favorite of his works (actually it’s a tetralogy published in one volume). I never heard the Big Bopper again without thinking of this book.