Related to: 'A Story of God and All of Us - Young Readers Edition'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

FaithWords

Son of God

Roma Downey, Mark Burnett
Authors:
Roma Downey, Mark Burnett

Now a major motion picture. SON OF GOD is the larger-than-life story of Jesus Christ from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. This marks the first motion picture about Jesus's life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago.

FaithWords

A Story of God and All of Us Reflections: 100 Daily Inspirations (Devotional)

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey
Authors:
Mark Burnett, Roma Downey

A STORY OF GOD AND ALL OF US DEVOTIONAL contains 100 days of devotional material based on the History Channel's epic mini-series, The Bible. This series is a sweeping drama of the most important events and characters in The Bible. The devotional will enable the reader to experience the main themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation through a daily devotional reading. Relevant scripture passages are included along with a daily prayer to inspire readers and keep them challenged and motivated.

Hodder & Stoughton

A Story of God and All of Us

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey
Authors:
Mark Burnett, Roma Downey

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz is called the 'best preacher in the family' by her father, Billy Graham. She speaks around the globe with the wisdom and authority of years spent studying God's Word, and the New York Times named Anne one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation. She is a best-selling and award-winning author of fourteen books, including her most recent, Wounded by God's People. www.annegrahamlotz.org.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren is a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and outspoken advocate for 'a new kind of Christianity'. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes, and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy (brianmclaren.net). @brianmclaren

Dave Tomlinson

Dave Tomlinson was a house church leader for many years and is now an Anglican priest. Unable to accept the narrow restrictions of his tradition, he founded the legendary Holy Joe's, a church in a pub in Clapham for disaffected church drop-outs. He is now Vicar of St Luke's, Holloway, a thriving parish church in north London. He is the author of the seminal The Post-Evangelical, I Shall Not Want and Re-enchanting Christianity, and most recently How to Be a Bad Christian and The Bad Christian's Manifesto.

Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson was a pastor, author, scholar and poet. He grew up in Montana and earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a pastor for 29 years and then became Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, retiring in 2006.Eugene Peterson is perhaps best known for his book THE MESSAGE: THE BIBLE IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE and is also known for his involvement in the Renovaré spiritual formation movement. The books in his spiritual theology series, including THE JESUS WAY and PRACTISE RESURRECTION, are widely acclaimed.After retiring from full-time teaching, Eugene and his wife Jan lived in the Big Sky Country of rural Montana. Eugene Peterson died in October 2018.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) is widely recognised as one of the most influential spiritual writers of the twentieth century. A Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor and pastor, he gained international renown as the author of over forty books on the spiritual life, including such classics as The Wounded Healer, The Inner Voice of Love, The Return of the Prodigal Son, and Life of the Beloved. Nouwen's books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold upwards of seven million copies worldwide, resonating with people across the religious, spiritual, cultural and political spectrum. Since his death in 1996, ever-increasing numbers of readers, writers, teachers, and seekers have been guided by his literary legacy.

Jeff Lucas

Jeff Lucas is an international author, speaker and broadcaster based in England and Colorado, USA, where he is teaching pastor at Timberline Church. In his books and when speaking his aim is always to share helpful, practical Bible teaching, marked by vulnerability and humour. His latest books include Faith in the Fog and There Are No Strong People.

John Van Sloten

John Van Sloten is a pastor, teacher and writer who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For the past 20 years he's been exploring a worldview that seeks to discern God's voice in all things: the Bible, the arts, sport, science, film, music, literature, history, maths, nature and human nature. John's first book, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything (Square Inch, August 2010), listened for God's whispers in pop culture. John has been the recipient of two John Templeton Foundation grants, exploring the intersection of faith and science in the context of preaching.

Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, the author of more than twenty-five books, and a moral voice for our time. Described by H.R.H The Prince of Wales as 'a light unto this nation', he is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britian and around the world.Admired by non-Jews as much as Jews, by secular as well as religious thinkers, and equally at home in the university and the yeshiva, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013. He read Philosophy at Cambridge before pursuing postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford and King's College, London.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Justin Butcher

Justin Butcher read Classics Greats at Oxford, trained subsequently at Drama Studio London, and has worked all over the world as actor, writer, director and musician in a vast range of roles and productions in theatre, television, radio and film. He has worked extensively as creative consultant in the business, government and voluntary sectors, across the UK and Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Krish Kandiah

Krish Kandiah is Founder and Director of the adoption and fostering charity Home for Good and an Ambassador for the relief charity Tearfund. He is in demand as a speaker, consultant and social entrepreneur. He lives with his wife and seven children, including fostered and adopted children, in Oxfordshire, UK.

Lorna Byrne

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now that her family is raised she talks openly about what she has learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland. She is the author of the international bestsellers Angels in My Hair, Stairways to Heaven, A Message of Hope from the Angels and Love From Heaven. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. For more information, visit www.lornabyrne.com or follow Lorna on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lornabyrneangels

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize). He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Pam Rhodes

In addition to presenting BBC Television's Songs of Praise for more than twenty years, Pam Rhodes has authored five novels and six non-fiction books. She lives with her husband in Bedfordshire. www.pamrhodes.co.uk

Paula Gooder

Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies. Her research areas focus on the writings of the apostle Paul, with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians and on Paul's understanding of the body. Her passion is to ignite people's enthusiasm for reading the Bible today, by presenting the best of biblical scholarship in an accessible and interesting way. Paula is Director for Mission Learning and Development in the Birmingham Diocese for the Church of England.

Pete Greig

Pete Greig is a writer, church-planter and bewildered co-founder of the 24-7 movement. He heads up Emmaus Rd in Guildford with his wife Sammy, serves as Vice-President for the NGO Tearfund and was part of the senior leadership team at HTB in London for seven years. Pete's publications include Red Moon Rising, God on Mute, The Prayer Course and Dirty Glory. He loves art galleries, live music and knocking down walls. Pete tweets regularly @petegreig