June 1st, 2007
In these wide-ranging lyrical essays, Anita Mathias writes of her naughty Catholic childhood in Jamshedpur, India; her large, eccentric extended family in Mangalore, a sea-coast town converted by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century; her rebellion and atheism as a teenager in her Himalayan boarding school, run by German missionary nuns, St. Mary’s Convent, Nainital; and her abrupt religious conversion whereupon she entered Mother Teresa’s convent in Calcutta as a novice. Later essays explores the dualities of her life as a writer, mother, and Christian in the United States– Domesticity and Art, Writing and Prayer, and the experience of being “an alien and stranger” as an immigrant in America, sensing the need for roots.
Anita Mathias has won several awards for her non-fiction including fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts; The Minnesota State Arts Board; The Jerome Foundation, The Vermont Studio Center; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the First Prize for the Best General Interest Article from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. Her essays have been published widely–The Washington Post, The London Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Commonweal, Notre Dame Magazine, America, The Christian Century, Religion Online, The Southwest Review, Contemporary Literary Criticism, New Letters, The Journal, and two of HarperSanFrancisco’s annual The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies.