Author Jay Parini will return to Sewanee to give a talk, “St. Paul and the Idea of Easter,” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 18, in Convocation Hall. A book signing and reception will follow, and the public is welcome.
In his new novel, “The Damascus Road,” Parini brings the fascinating and ever-controversial figure of Paul of Tarsus to full human life, capturing his visionary passions and vast contradictions. In relating Paul’s epic journeys, both geographical and spiritual, he unfolds a vivid panorama of the ancient world on the verge of epochal change. And in the alternating voice of the Gospel writer Luke, Paul’s travel companion and ghostwriter, a cooler perspective on his actions and beliefs emerges.
Parini is regarded as one of the leading innovators in the genre of biographical fiction. “While Parini’s contributions to American letters are many and varied, as he is a first-rate poet, a well-respected critic, and a masterful novelist,” writes Michael Lackey of the University of Minnesota, Morris, “he is a pioneer, as both a practitioner and theoretician, in the genre of the biographical novel.”