e c l e c t i c a n o n f i c t i o n
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My Helen Keller (Spotlight Runner Up!)
In the evangelical community of my upbringing, having an exciting salvation story made you stand out as worthy of attention, and Helen had what seemed to me the ultimate personal testimony. She not only overcame the isolation of being deafblind by learning to sign, read, and write—she also left behind her wild, disobedient ways to become a docile girl, then young woman. This crucial feminine narrative was so familiar that I could feel it rattling in my bones; in my world, it was inseparable from Christian redemption.
Jane Van Slembrouck
The Sort of Thing Everyone Knows
Everyone I knew believed Satan was a real entity who visited Earth and tempted Christians to sin. Everyone believed Satan-worshipers lived in our midst; they were rumored to slit the throats of babies and black cats on Halloween. A redeemed warlock toured our town's churches, telling the story of his rise to infernal power, his climactic battle with invisible demons—they smashed him against a wall and beat him with a desk drawer—and his subsequent rehabilitation in the love of Christ.