Faith and Fiction: Christian Literature in America Today

Article excerpt

Faith and Fiction: Christian Literature in America Today Anita Gandolfo. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007.

The popularity of faith-based fiction has increased greatly in the last decade. Religious fiction was once sold almost exclusively in Christian bookstores: now a wide-range of such fiction is stocked by all mainstream book sellers, and it constitutes the largest type of fiction available in the book departments of discount stores such as Wal-Mart. Its popularity is also evident in public libraries where inspirational fiction is now one of the most frequently checked out types of material. Today's faith-based fiction mirrors general popular fiction in terms of genre choices, and it is possible to find faith-based romances, mysteries, suspense and horror novels. The phenomenal sales of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code and the Left Behind series have led many mainstream publishing houses to seek similar manuscripts for publication in hopes of similar sales and to acquire some of the formerly independent publishers of religious fiction. In Faith and Fiction: Christian Literature in America Today, Anita Gandolfo, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Professor of English at the US Military Academy, attempts to explain the popularity of faith-based literature and its significance in reflecting modern American culture.

The world "faith" in the title refers to the Christian faith and more specifically to evangelical Christianity. Although other types of religious fiction such as Islamic and Jewish are becoming more popular, Gandolfo focuses almost exclusively on fiction intended for the evangelical Christian audience. …