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The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming - Rod Dreher The above title is also the title of the book under consideration today, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming; which I learned about yesterday from Nathan Douglas, a graduate in film studies from Simon Fraser University now building a career as a writer, editor and director.  I asked him if he would fill us all in…

I’ve been reading Rod Dreher for at least 4 or 5 years, but I can’t remember how I first stumbled across his blog. He quickly became one of my favourite commentators on religious and cultural topics. I found his viewpoint – that of an independent, conservative, Orthodox Christian – to be refreshing in how he passionately and intelligently defended traditional Christian arguments in the various cultural debates of our time.

When his sister was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, he allowed his readers an intimate window into his family’s suffering. I have never read blog posts more heart rending than the ones he posted in the days immediately after her diagnosis. It was a man literally bleeding though the computer screen. After that, he went silent for over a year, returning to blogging at The American Conservative in September 2011,  just before his sister’s death. Once again, his posts reflecting on her suffering, her death, and the effect it had on him and his family – playing out in real time through those months for his readers as much as for himself – were astonishing in their intimacy.

This was the beginning of his new book The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, which released last month and details the story of his loving but tumultuous relationship with his sister, his parents, and his hometown, and the fruit that their collective love and suffering as a family, and as a community, bore in his life.

~ND

The 271-page book released on April 9th in hardcover from Grand Central Publishing. Here is their synopsis:

Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, went back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his sister’s death. He was moved by the way the community rallied around her. Dreher and his wife decided to move back and join the community.

I mentioned to Nathan that since the book landed on Grand Central, and not FaithWords, it was probably off the radar for many Christian bookstores. Ingram and CBD carry it, STL does not.  Apparently Dreher has noted this also, and Nathan sent me this comment from the author:

I know my mainstream publicist worked extremely hard on this book, but in retrospect, I wish I had hired a parallel publicist to work with the Evangelical market. I was considering a couple of weeks ago doing that, but did some research, and discovered that it was a lost cause at this point — any publicity work a Christian publicist could have done ought to have been done three months in advance of release. Live and learn.

Personally, I don’t think it’s ever too late for a book to gain traction. This is a title to keep your eye on. The book has endorsements from Eric Metaxas, Ann Voskamp, Wm. Paul Young and Russell D. Moore; but none of its ten Library of Congress categories include religion or Christianity which makes its marketing somewhat paradoxical.

For more, see the author’s post, Is Little Way Theologically Incorrect?

9781455521913

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  1. May 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

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