The Divine and Human Comedy of Andrew M. Greeley
Andrew M. Greeley began writing fiction in the late 1950s, when he published several short stories. He achieved literary fame in 1981 with the publication of The Cardinal Sins, which has sold more than three million copies, and has written roughly 40 novels. But because of his commercial success, his works are not always taken seriously. Like many popular writers, he is sometimes dismissed by literary critics. This book argues that Greeley is, in fact, a serious novelist of ideas, and it offers a broad consideration of his works. The volume approaches Greeleys novels by comparing him to the 19th-century French writer Honore de Balzac. A prolific and popular author, Balzac recorded his milieu in tremendous detail, created a fictional universe peopled by hundreds of characters, and explored the role of Catholicism in his world. Because of his training as a sociologist, Greeley brings to his novels a thorough knowledge of popular culture and social theory. And because of his experience as a Roman Catholic priest, he has gained special knowledge of vice, virtue, and the workings of the Church. Like Balzac--now a major canonical author--Greeley has created a world of numerous fictional persons, mapped the details of his culture, and explored the place of Catholicism in contemporary life.
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