The Reconception of Marie
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About the Author
Teresa Carmody’s writing includes fiction, creative nonfiction, inter-arts collaborations, and hybrid forms. She is the author of Maison Femme: a fiction (2015) and The Reconception of Marie (2020). Her work has appeared in The Collagist, LitHub, WHR, Two Serious Ladies, Diagram, St. Petersburg Review, Entropy and more. Carmody is co-founding editor of Les Figues Press, an imprint of LARB Books in Los Angeles. She lives in Florida where she is the director of Stetson University's MFA program.
In this fresh take on the classic bildungsroman, Teresa Carmody brings us into the hybrid world of Marie, a protagonist as indoctrinated as she is intelligent, and deeply questioning as she is opinionated--and in an unforgettable voice, we charge into battle for the salvation of nothing less than Marie's eternal soul. Her voice is equally satirical and tender as it queries what it means to be led astray, to save and be saved, to have faith and yet to sin, to seek truth, and to think and create independently given the confines of language one has inherited. Endearing, uproariously funny, and profoundly moving, this is a book and a character you won't forget.
Sarah Gerard, author of True Love and Sunshine State
This is a rare and captivating story about the growth of self-awareness in an American girl. Raised in an Evangelical Christian household, Marie is eager, as we all are, to believe that she matters. In a scheme of illogical hope, she evolves into dazzling complexity. Her social and familial influences rise and fall in tune with the milieu. She fights to know truth and to stay clear, and this is where her struggle remains from beginning to end. I think of Iris Murdoch and her kind of comedy. To be born again is not to re-conceive, but they're awfully close.
Sharp, funny and devastating, this coming of age tale of a young queer girl in the Christian far right community of Michigan is essential reading for anyone who has ever felt like a misfit. Through shifting perspectives and forms, Carmody deftly captures the complexities of faith, family, class, girlhood--how they make and break us--and the cataclysm of reconceiving who we are. Hers is a vital and singular voice.
Mona Awad, author of Bunny and Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Fat Girl
A remarkable and complex portrayal of one girl's spiritual reconception and a "leap into the void of not-knowing," Carmody brilliantly weaves together a heartbreaking journey of spiritual healing through the earnest and compelling voice of Marie, a born-again Christian girl whose largeness of heart is matched only by the bigness of God himself. A beautiful and vulnerable witnessing of finding oneself, this is a book that opens itself to you, and consequently, you to the rest of yourself.
Janice Lee, author of Imagine A Death and Reconsolidation