Archives For Brad Gooch

 

A Love Beyond Religion
 
A Feature Review of
 

Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love
Brad Gooch.

Hardback: HarperCollins, 2017.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewd by By Erin Ensinger
 
 

FIVE of our Favorite Poems by Rumi

 
Rumi has always been a miracle and a mystery to me. Like many other Americans, I first met Rumi in the dark days after 9/11, when this poet from the Muslim world made his unlikely ascent to the top of the best-seller charts. Raised in conservative circles, I ferreted his poems away from critical eyes, savoring them with all the relish of a guilty pleasure. His spiritual hunger, reckless love and tolerance of people no matter their faith or ethnicity spoke to me almost against my will.  In his new biography, Rumi’s Secret, Brad Gooch captures all of these elements that have caused some to place Rumi in Walt Whitman’s family tree. At the same time, Gooch remains true to his title, preserving an air of mystery around the divine secrets Rumi himself found expressible only through poetry, music and the whirling dance of sama.

Continue Reading…

 

Far Beyond the House and Chicken Yard

A Review of
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.
by Brad Gooch.

By Chris Smith.

 

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.
Brad Gooch.

Hardcover: Little, Brown and Co., 2009.
Buy now from:
[ Doulos Christou Books $24 ] [ Amazon ]

 

A recent viral internet post has declared Flannery O’Connor among its list of “Stuff Christian Hipsters Like.”  While I can understand why such Christian Hipsters would be attracted to her dark, grotesque stories of sin and redemption, I am more convinced than ever – after reading Flannery, Brad Gooch’s authoritative new biography – that there is little in Flannery herself that such trendy folks would find “hip.”  A sheltered, southern woman from an aristocratic family, with “medieval” sensibilities and a cultural racism (334) befitting her situation in mid-twentieth century Georgia, she hardly fits the bill.  Gooch, however, spins an engaging narrative that is sure to draw in all its readers –   hipsters or not.

            The product of Gooch’s lifelong “infatuation” with Ms. O’Connor’s work and five years of research and writing, Flannery contradicts O’Connor’s opinion that a compelling biography of her life would never be written “because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.”  Gooch’s framework is the standard story of O’Connor’s life, developed largely from her autobiography-in-letters, The Habit of Being. Continue Reading…