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Riot Recommendation: Let’s Talk About Saints

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

This installment of Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Unbridled Books and Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey.

In Afterlives of the Saints, Colin Dickey— author of Cranioklepty—presents us with a history of faith as told through some of the strangest stories of the saints. These are saints who murder, saints who gouge out their own eyes and hold them out for inspection, saints who minister to the petty and the bizarre and the maligned. These are saints who, when visited in a contemporary context—as saints in the cities—actually enlarge our concept of faith….Colin Dickey retells their stories, not as a theologian, but as someone trying to understand the ways of the world.


Maybe it’s because the Catholic church already tells their story to some degree, but it’s surprising that there aren’t more novels about saints. I can think of a handful of great books about priests and nuns (Death Comes for the Archbishop, The Power and the Glory, and others), but I am drawing a blank on ones that have saints at the center. Is that narrative ground too holy? Do the stories seem dated? I’m not exactly sure. Perhaps I am just missing them.

So, do you know of any novels or books that are about saints or the journey to sainthood? Let us know in the comments!