Archives For Walter Wangerin


The Light Breaks Through.
A Review of

Wounds Are Where Light Enters: Stories of God’s Intrusive Grace
Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Hardback: Zondervan, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Alexander Steward

[ Our Recent Interview with Wangerin ]

Walter Wangerin has become one of the quintessential story tellers of this day and age. His stories break through the mundane and add a personal touch to everything that he shares. Whether his stories are based upon scripture or from his own personal collection reflecting upon his own experiences, he can connect with his readers and listeners as he offers the opportunity to enter the story as well.

In his newest collection of stories, Wangerin shares stories from his own family. Stories that helped shape him as a person of God. In these stories, the reader witnesses humanity. A humanity that resides in the ordinary. A humanity that resides in the sin and the brokenness of life. The stories are endearing and are a witness that Walter Wangerin is a human being just like anyone else. Too often, pastors are put upon pedestals in the eyes of their parishioners, forgetting that they too sin just like everyone else.

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The Topography of Cancer
 A Review of 

The Absolute, Relatively Inaccessible
Walter Wangerin Jr.

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2017
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Review by Cynthia Beach


He is the type to excavate words long buried beneath century-old grit and neglect—important words, vital words like scop, the word he once handed me that was important enough to shape only my entire life purpose. Scop, the one in ancient Greece who crossed the battlefield and recorded its story. The one who shaped, the one who told the story.

This weathered scop, Walter Wangerin Jr, known for Miz Lil, The Book of the Dun Cow and other marrow-of-the-bone works, has written again. The battlefield he’s crossing has been the field of prolonged cancer and pain and impending death.

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The Book of Memories


A Feature Review of 

Everlasting is the Past: A Memoir
Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Paperback: Rabbit Room, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  

Reviewed by Joe Krall
*** Read our interview with
Walter Wangerin, about this book


A lonely, despairing graduate student walks and walks out into the countryside till he finds himself before a flock of sheep grazing, placid and content. He is filled with rage, wanting nothing more than to run at them, scare them into stumbling – until a farmer steps out of the woods, makes a “nickering sound in his throat,” and leads the sheep away. The student is alone once more.


“The sight of the sheep had broken my soul. I said, ‘I want to be a sheep.’”


So prays Walter Wangerin, Jr., in his memoir Everlasting is the Past (Rabbit Room, 2015).  There are many beautiful passages in this book, but as for me, this short passage, in its lyricism, in its precision (“nickering” – what a fine adjective!), in its poignancy and spiritual power, is by far my favorite. In our recent interview with him, Wangerin mentioned that he had been thinking about “the episode with the sheep” for a long time. His thoughtfulness shows: the passage, jewel-like in its beauty, caught me on first reading, and reflected its light on what comes before and comes after.

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Learning to Tell Stories
An Interview with Walter Wangerin, Jr.

By Joe Krall

ERB intern Joe Krall recently had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Walter about his new memoir:

Everlasting is the Past

Rabbit Room Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

An extended version of this interview will appear in our Fall print issue.
(Are you a subscriber?)


ERB: You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction that has impacted many, many people. In Everlasting is the Past, you chose to tell three inter-connected stories – your story of doubt and finding faith, your story of call, and the story of Grace Lutheran Church. What motivated this memoir, and why did you structure the memoir as you did?

WWJ: Well, I suppose this is something I’ve thought about for a long time, especially the depression that I felt in graduate school, and then that whole episode with the sheep. It seemed to me, by now, a natural thing to present that story, and to make it a kind of a hinge, between what goes before it and the events that follow – parts two and three. But there was not a time when I suddenly said, “Oh! Let me write this.” I think it was always just somewhere in the back of my mind.

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If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
– Mother Teresa,
born this date,1910   Tweet this ]

Poem of the Day:
On Righteous Indignation
G.K. Chesterton
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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Ragman and Other Cries of Faith
by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Only $1.99!!!  Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – August 26, 2014