Paraclete returns to Fiction with a debut novel to confuse the traditional shelving categories
August 25, 2017 — With the publication of Can You See Anything Now? by Katherine James (October 10, 2017 / ISBN 978-1612619316 / Trade Paperback) Paraclete Press returns to publishing novels and launches a new series, Paraclete Fiction. “Our intention is to reach the unchurched, de-churched, and ‘nones,’” explains Publisher Jon M. Sweeney, “who would probably never look for something new to read in the ‘Christian Fiction’ section.”
For a faith-based press with traditional leanings, the Paraclete Fiction line represents not just a new direction, but a risk. “Can You See Anything Now? is a novel about real people living real lives,” Sweeney explains, by which he means that expletives and themes of addiction and self-injury in the book may be unsettling to some, while appealing to others.
Can You See Anything Now? explores grace in the midst of tragedy, and in the lives of unforgettable, utterly ruined characters. The novel follows a year in the small town of Trinity, and the lives of the suicidal painter, Margie, who has been teaching her evangelical neighbor, Etta, how to paint nudes; her husband, the town therapist who suspects his work helps no one; and their college-aged daughter, Noel, whose roommate, Pixie, joins them at home for a winter holiday, only to fall into Trinity’s freezing river.
Themes of small-town life and the juxtaposition of tragedy and redemption should resonate with readers of Marilynne Robinson, Richard Russo, and Elizabeth Strout. Early endorsers include Leslie Leyland Fields, Suzanne Wolfe, and Scott Cairns.
About the Author: Katherine James has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University in New York City, where she received the Felipe P. De Alba Fellowship. She has been on staff with CRU, a ministry to college students, for over twenty-five years. She is a member of Redbud Writers Guild, and is senior editor for CruPress. Her memoir, Notes on Orion, about the opioid epidemic in the suburbs of Philadelphia and the ways that it affected her family, will be published by Paraclete in the second half of 2018.
“Katherine James just might be a genius. If you’re a redemption chaser, you’ll love this book. If you hate redemption stories, you’re going to love this book.” —Leslie Leyland Fields