Wheat that Springeth Green

Front Cover
New York Review of Books, 2000 - Fiction - 327 pages
15 Reviews
Wheat That Springeth Green, J. F. Powers's beautifully realized final work, is a comic foray into the commercialized wilderness of modern American life. Its hero, Joe Hackett, is a high school track star who sets out to be a saint. But seminary life and priestly apprenticeship soon damp his ardor, and by the time he has been given a parish of his own he has traded in his hair shirt for the consolations of baseball and beer. Meanwhile Joe's higher-ups are pressing for an increase in profits from the collection plate, suburban Inglenook's biggest business wants to launch its new line of missiles with a blessing, and not all that far away, in Vietnam, a war is going on. Joe wants to duck and cover, but in the end, almost in spite of himself, he is condemned to do something right.

J. F. Powers was a virtuoso of the American language with a perfect ear for the telling cliché and an unfailing eye for the kitsch that clutters up our lives. This funny and very moving novel about the making and remaking of a priest is one of his finest achievements.
  

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Review: Wheat that Springeth Green

User Review  - luciddreamer99 - Goodreads

Joe is perhaps not an immediately likable character, but by the end of the book I found myself liking him quite a bit. I can certainly associate with his daydreams of playing major league baseball ... Read full review

Review: Wheat that Springeth Green

User Review  - Nick - Goodreads

Updike once said that a reviewer must never judge a book harshly for not doing what its author never set out to do. I had to keep this in the forefront of my mind as I read about the priestly ... Read full review

Contents

II
5
III
8
IV
24
V
41
VI
57
VII
67
VIII
80
IX
97
XIX
191
XX
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XXI
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXVI
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XVIII
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XXVII
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XXVIII
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XXIX
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XXX
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XXXI
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XXXII
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XXXIII
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Copyright

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About the author (2000)

J. F. Powers (1917-1999) was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, and studied at Northwestern University while holding a variety of jobs in Chicago and working on his writing. He published his first stories in The Catholic Worker and, as a pacifist, spent thirteen months in prison during World War II. Powers was the author of three collections of short stories and two novels--Morte D'Urban, which won the National Book Award, andWheat That Springeth Green--all of which have been reissued by New York Review Books. He lived in Ireland and the United States and taught for many years at St John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Katherine A. Powers is a long-time champion of the novels of Raymond Kennedy. She is a freelance book critic and writes a literary column for the Barnes and Noble Review. She is the editor of a forthcoming volume, Suitable Accommodations: The Letters of J. F. Powers, 1942 - 1963. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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