God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America
In the wake of the 2016 election, Lyz Lenz watched as her country and her marriage were torn apart by the competing forces of faith and politics. A mother of two, a Christian, and a lifelong resident of middle America, Lenz was bewildered by the pain and loss around her--the empty churches and the broken hearts. What was happening to faith in the heartland?
From drugstores in Sydney, Iowa, to skeet shooting in rural Illinois, to the mega churches of Minneapolis, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God's country. Part journalism, part memoir, God Land is a journey into the heart of a deeply divided America. Lenz visits places of worship across the heartland and speaks to the everyday people who often struggle to keep their churches afloat and to cope in a land of instability. Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together.
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About the AuthorLyz Lenz has been published in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, The Guardian, ESPN, Marie Claire, Mashable, Salon, and more. Her book Belabored: Tales of Myth, Medicine, and Motherhood is forthcoming. She also has an essay in the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay. Lenz holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University and is a contributing writer to the Columbia Journalism Review.
"God Land is a courageous narrative account of the religious and political divides that threaten to rip America down its middle."--Foreword Reviews
"[Lenz's] sharp, insightful prose and deep compassion help illuminate many facets of a complicated region and its ties to Christianity. And like the people she meets, Lenz can't quite give up her stubborn longing for a big-hearted faith and an even bigger God. The result is an incisive, sober-eyed yet hopeful look at a vital aspect of American culture."--Shelf Awareness
"This work will resonate with any readers interested in understanding American landscapes where white, evangelical Christianity dominates both politics and culture."--Publishers Weekly