Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brendan Kiely

Brendan Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York. His writing has appeared in Fiction, Guernica, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, and other publications. Originally from the Boston area, he now teaches at an independent high school and lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.

Kiely's new, and debut, novel is The Gospel of Winter. From the author's Q & A with Celia Johnson at Slice magazine:

In your novel, you explore child abuse within the Catholic Church. What drew you to write this particular story? And were you nervous about tackling such a difficult subject?

The story of the worldwide abuse and the cover up of that abuse within the Catholic Church seemed to me a broken promise of the worst magnitude, and while the news media had done an excellent job exposing the scandal and investigating the institutional problems, I wanted to write a novel that moved beyond the news stories and honored the young people who had to experience that broken promise firsthand.

Many people, and many people I knew, felt betrayed when journalists revealed the enormity of the problem—I felt betrayed. I’d grown up “culturally Catholic,” as my brother and I call it: our extended family was mostly Catholic, most of our friends and their families were Catholic, and we both went to Catholic school. We’d learned that the cornerstone of the Catholic faith was love and compassion. After the scandal broke, the degree to which priests and church officials had corrupted those fundamental values sickened me. And worse, the victims had had to speak up themselves in order for this reality to come to light.

The Gospel of Winter is not a memoir, but...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Brendan Kiely's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Gospel of Winter.

--Marshal Zeringue