Saturday 25 August 2018

Three Great Catholic Writers That You Might Never Have Heard Of! Curtayne - Lord - Powers

Three Great Catholic Writers That You Might Never Have Heard Of!
Curtayne - Lord - Powers

I have a habit of coming across writers, falling in love with their works, trying to track down all of their works. The three authors featured in this piece are writers I consider to have exceptional skills. But other than powers most of their works are out of print, and proving hard to track down. I will give some brief information on each of the authors, and provide links to any reviews I have written, and I strongly encourage you to track down some of their writings and sample them for yourself. I am going to present the authors in the order I encountered them.

J.F. Powers
July 8th 1917 - June 12th 1999

My introduction to the works of J.F. Powers was a short story The Warm Sand, it was a story that really stuck with me, in fact I stated that it haunted me. I wrote about this story and eventually tracking it down again here. It stuck with me and once I found out it was part of a larger story I devoured the works of Powers. I was so intrigued by the works of Powers that in my final year of university I made arrangements to do an independent reading course on his life and his works. He published 2 novels 25 years apart, and both won the National Book award. He also published 4 collections of short stories with some overlapping stories.  Currently both his novels and a collected volume of stories and available in print and electronic formats. In a previous essay I quoted Joseph Bottum who stated that J.F. Powers was: "'The greatest Catholic Writer of the 20th Century'. Up until encountering the following two authors I would have agreed, now I consider the three of them excellent and could not pick a favourite.

Alice Curtayne
November 6th 1898 - 1981

I first encountered the writings of Alice Curtayne through an eBook of Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. I immediately loved it and started researching the author and her works. The hard part is that many of her works did not have North American printings, and all but 2 are currently out of print. I believe she wrote 23 books and 10 booklets. Her booklets were published for the Catholic Truth Society and other publications. Of the 33 works I have identified to day I have been able to track down 17, and have read and reviewed 9. He writing about saints is masterful. And her collections of short stories about Irish Saints are wonderful, and loved by my children and I. The rest of her works are not available in Canada through inter library loan. So I am slowly working on purchasing scanned copies from libraries in Australia, Ireland, England, and Scotland. One book I have tried to purchase used three times, the first was the wrong book when it arrived, the second time it disappeared in the mail, and the third the book seller cancelled because they could not find it after it was ordered. Everything of hers that I have read is excellent. 

Daniel A. Lord
April 23rd 1888 - January 15th 1955

A priest and author posted about Daniel A. Lord and piqued my interest. My first foray into his works is a booklet called I Don't Like Lent, it is simply brilliant. I read it three times this past lent, and have sent a download link to numerous friends. In the introduction to his autobiography Played by Ear I was astonished to read: "He wrote exactly thirty adult books and twelve booklets. His pamphlets must number nearly three hundred. He wrote forty-eight children's books. He wrote twenty-five plays, twelve pageants, three musicals; and he published five separate musical compositions, not to mention the tunes incorporated in his pageants, some written in collaboration with others." If Powers is known by the sparseness of his published works, Lord takes the cake for his prodigious output. Currently all of his fiction seems to be out of print, as well as his booklets. But 45 of his pamphlets are available electronically on Kindle. And numerous are available through The Australian Catholic Truth Society Archive. From what I have read to date, his works like the authors above are well worth tracking down.

So there you have an introduction to three great Catholic authors, leave a comment with who you would recommend. My to be read pile is so high now there is no harm adding to it.

My Reviews and Articles on Powers:
1962 - Morte d'Urban - novel
1963 - Lions, Harts, Leaping Does, and Other Stories
1988 - Wheat that Springeth Green - novel
1991 - The Old Bird, A Love Story - Illustrated Edition
1999 - The Stories of J. F. Powers
J.F. Powers Selected Bibliography
J.F. Powers Book Covers
That Elusive Story
The Warm Sand
Meme Booked By 3 May 2007
Meme Book Meme
Meme Booked by 3 February 2007

RS398 Directed Reading - The Religious Fiction of J.F. Powers
Essay - Why J.F. Powers
The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories
The Presence of Grace
Morte d'Urban
Look How the Fish Live
Wheat that Springeth Green
Essay - J.F. Powers Literary Life and Legacy

Books and Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
A Recall to Dante
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Anthony of Padua
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
The New Woman Transcript of a Talk
The servant of God, Mother Mary Aikenhead
The Story of Knock
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin

Books Contributed to by Alice Curtayne:
The Irish Way

Books by Daniel A. Lord:

Father Finn, S.J., The Story Of His Life Told By Himself For His Friends Young And Old

Played by Ear

Children's Books:

Red Arrows in the Night

Our Nuns: Their Varied and Vital Service for God and County
I can read ANYTHING!? All right! - then read THIS!
Confession is a joy?
Religion and Leadership
Fashionable Sin - A Modern Discussion of an Unpopular Subject
My Mother, The Study of an Uneventful Life
You Can't Live That Way
The Call to Catholic Action
Our Part in the Mystical Body
I Don't Like Lent

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