Publishers Weekly listed Graceling,the debut novel from Kristin Cashore, in its Best Book of the Year list in 2008. Since then, Cashore has published a sort-of prequel called FIre and a sequel titled Bitterblue. Here’s Wikipedia’s list of awards:
Graceling was shortlisted for the ALA’s William C. Morris YA Award, is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, was a Cybils finalist (Fantasy/SF category), and was a finalist for both the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (the SFWA’s award for YA given concurrently with the Nebulas) and the Indies Choice Book Awards (Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book category). Graceling won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Young Adult SIBA Book Award.
The book also was awarded: Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year 2008 ; School Library Journal Best Books of 2008; Booklist 2008 Top Ten First Novels for Youth; A Booklist’s Editor’s Choice for 2008-2009; Amelia Bloomer List 2009; Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Finalist; Won Mythopoeic Fantasy Award For Children’s literature in 2009; Nominated for 2010 Washington Evergreen Award; Nominated for 2010-2011 Eliot Rosewater Award; On the Bulletin’s Center for Children’s Books 2009; Blue Ribbon List; 2012 California Young Reader Medal.
For what it’s worth, Graceling probably deserves them all. Continue reading
For as long as people have written, sung, and told stories about God, literature has been a means by which the Holy Spirit has moved individuals to draw closer to Christ. However, the role of the imagination in apologetics and theology has received, until lately, little attention from Christian scholars and apologists. Fortunately, this situation is now being remedied by a number of gifted scholars working on what is being called “imaginative apologetics” or “literary apologetics.” Malcolm Guite’s brilliant book Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination is absolutely essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the subject.
Guite is opening a door into quite new territory for most apologists, and thus he begins, rightly, with an extended introduction setting out the issues that he will address, and why they are important. To begin with, he notes that a cultural shift is underway. We now have a “wider debate in modernist and post-modernist times about the relations between imagination and reason as ways of knowing.” At least in the American Evangelical world, this debate has often played out simply as a critique of postmodern influence in the church, but the larger issue of the role of the imagination in apologetics, theology, and Christian experience is much more significant. Guite argues that “if renewed claims are to be made for the imagination as a truth-bearing faculty, we need both to understand why it came to be marginalised and also to ask in what ways it is consistent with, and complementary to truths arrived at by other means.” Continue reading
The apocalypse as described in various religious traditions tends to reassert the sovereignty of the gods over the realm of morality. In the Christian tradition, for example, the second coming of Christ, in a final disambiguation of who is good and who is evil, will bring perfect justice to a fallen humanity. And in the Oresteia, a long string of violence and death results in Athena setting a divine standard for human justice.
In non-religious apocalyptic literature such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,though, an entirely separate strand of thought is observed: the apocalypse, rather than bringing justice into a world incapable of saving itself, undoes any preexisting order and morality and plunges the world into chaos. Continue reading
As an apologist, I work in the field of cultural apologetics, and more specifically in imaginative apologetics — which can be loosely defined as developing the use of the imagination, as well as the reason, as a mode of knowledge. Imaginative apologetics includes the presentation and exploration of truth through all the different art forms – painting, music, theater, film, sculpture, dance, even architecture — and of course literature. As a poet and an English professor, I am most interested in the way that poetry and narrative can be ways to present the experience of knowing Christ. That is, I work primarily in literary apologetics. Continue reading