The Life You Save May Be your Own

The Life You Save May Be your Own

An American Pilgrimage

Book - 2003 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In the mid-twentieth century four American Catholics came to believe that the best way to explore the questions of religious faith was to write about them, in works that readers of all kinds could admire. This book is their story, a vivid and enthralling account of great writers and their power over us. Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk in Kentucky; Dorothy Day the founder of the Catholic Worker in New York; Flannery O'Connor a "Christ-haunted" literary prodigy in Georgia; Walker Percy a doctor in New Orleans who quit medicine to write fiction and philosophy. A friend came up with a name for them--the School of the Holy Ghost--and for three decades they exchanged letters, read one another's books, and grappled with what one of them called a "predicament shared in common." In this book Paul Elie tells these writers' story as a pilgrimage from the God-obsessed literary past of Dante and Dostoevsky out into the thrilling chaos of postwar American life. It is a story of how the Catholic faith, in their vision of things, took on forms the faithful could not have anticipated. And it is a story about the ways we look to great books and writers to help us make sense of our experience, about the power of literature to change--to save--our lives.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux ; [Vancouver (B.C.)?] : Distributed in Canada by Douglas & McIntyre, 2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374256807
Branch Call Number: 810.99212 ELIE
Characteristics: xiii, 554 p. : ill. ;24 cm

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Hamletdoghot Aug 19, 2013

A really great group biography of four Catholic writers who eventually connect, correspond and meet each other as the narrative goes forward. One of them (Day) is being investigated for sainthood by the Vatican, and the other three probably should be too


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top