Christopher Scalia

Christopher Scalia is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Virginia's College at Wise.

recent articles

An Odd Bird

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor Brad Gooch; Little, Brown & Company; 464 pages; $30 Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Flannery O’Connor is that she is fascinating at all. Compared to other 20th-century literary figures, she lived a dull life. She never lost her mind. She didn’t sleep around. She didn’t have a drinking … Read more

Appalachian Gothic

In his powerful novel Serena, Ron Rash offers a haunting depiction of greed, inhumanity, and single-minded ambition. Put in more stark terms, he writes about the force of evil.   Set in the Appalachians of Western North Carolina during the Great Depression, the book tells the story of a logging company owner named Pemberton and … Read more

The Voice of Twentieth-Century Catholicism

Since the death of J. F. Powers in 1999, admiring reviewers (all of his reviewers have been admiring) have mourned not only his death, but the general obscurity of his novels and stories. Although his first novel, Morte D’Urban, won the 1963 National Book Award — over the more familiar names of John Updike, Katherine … Read more

Chesterton’s Overrated Novella

This year marks the pseudo-centennial of G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. (First published as a pilot edition in 1907, the work was published in wider numbers the following year.) Journals as divergent as The New Yorker and The National Review have honored the anniversary with positive assessments of the book, which — … Read more

A Pattern, Somewhere

Here’s some advice for anyone starting a job as literary editor for a Catholic online journal: For your first book review, avoid novels whose central character is an atheist lesbian who fights to adopt a child and who eventually commits suicide.   Here’s some advice for anyone starting a job as literary editor for a … Read more

Reawakening the Catholic Literary Scene

In April, Todd M. Aglialoro asked readers of this site, “What happened to Catholic fiction, and how do we effect its renewal?” This question — which generated over 100 responses — could be broadened: How do we renew Catholic literature? William Baer has been asking the same thing, and has been taking tangible steps toward … Read more

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