"A collection of very good short stories that, with subtle power and crafted simplicity, provide a close-up of the beliefs and practices of an American regional culture."
—Frank de Caro, editor of The Folklore Muse
"I count myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to read this wonderfully engaging collection of short stories. Its greatest contribution is to give a sense of the complexity and variety of personalities, attitudes, and relationships to religion that are characteristic of that part of the country still pegged as "Appalachia."
—Patricia Sawin, author of Listening for a Life: A Dialogic Ethnography of Bessie Eldreth
Claudia Gould draws on fieldwork she conducted, as an anthropologist, in North Carolina, where she earlier spent large parts of her childhood, among a net of paternal relations. From that ethnography and from lifelong observation, she crafts stories that lay open the human heart and social complications of fundamentalist Christian belief. These stories and the compelling characters who inhabit them pull us into the complicated, variable core of religious experience among southern American Christians. Jesus in America, a perceptive work rich with cultural insight, is a singular addition to the growing genre of ethnographic fiction.