Paul A Novel
Walter Wangerin Jr. is a master storyteller, dramatic performer and an award-winning writer who has written nearly thirty books for children and adults. He currently holds the Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University in Indiana where his is writer-in-residence and a professor of writing and literature.
Wangerin's writing career was launched in earnest more than 20 years ago with the publication of The Book of the Dun Cow (Harper & Row, 1978, ltd sales 700,000), which won the National Book Award (AmBA, 1980) and was named The New York Times' Best Children's Book of the Year 1980. Wangerin hit the religion bestseller lists with The Book of God: The Bible As A Novel (Zondervan) in 1996. The book's U.S. sales alone have topped 250,000 and licensing agreements have been signed for 20 foreign languages. More than 500,000 copies of The Book of God have been sold in the Japanese edition, with almost 1,000,000 copies in print worldwide.
An ordained Lutheran, Wangerin pastored an inner-city church in Evansville, IN, for 16 years. His stories of heartache and hope arising from these experiences shaped many of his books for adults, such as Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace, Ragman and Other Cries of Faith and The Orphean Passages. Wangerin's strong Christian themes of redemption and resurrection have established his presence in the religious bookselling industry. The ECPA Gold Medallion Award has been granted him six times (Ragman, Potter, As for Me and My House, Reliving the Passion, The Book of God, Whole Prayer). Wangerin has been honored with various book awards such as the Association of Logos Bookstores Book Awards for Best Fiction and Best Book, the Association of Theological Booksellers Best Children's Book, Campus Life's Editors' Choice, the CSIA C.S. Lewis Award, and the Virtue Magazine Book of the Year.
Wangerin and his wife, Ruthanne, have raised four children, two of them adopted. Parent-child and family themes are strong in his works, including the more pastoral books such as Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? (Zondervan, 1993) and As for Me and My House (Thomas Nelson 1987). He also writes explicitly about Christian faith in devotional stories collected in the Lenten and Advent volumes Reliving The Passion (Zondervan, 1992) and Preparing for Jesus (Zondervan, 1999).
Wangerin's new children's book, Peter's First Easter, released from Zondervan March 1999. And his new work for adults, Paul: A Novel, is forthcoming from Zondervan in August 2000. This epic story of the apostle whose life and letters form much of the Christian New Testament is a work of great literary drama and sound historical and textual scholarship. Wangerin's considerable body of work has garnered much critical acclaim including praise from the following:
Library Journal: Paul: A Novel "At times humorous, at times appalling, Paul's voice reaches beyond the pages of fiction to exhort a fundamental love of Jesus."
Phillip Yancey: Paul: A Novel "combines the very best of Wangerin's skills: biblical knowledge, a sense of drama, unobtrusive scholarship, and the ability to tell a crackling good story."
Robert Smith, Professor of New Testament, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: Paul: A Novel "is an astonishing work of imagination."
The New York Times: The Book of the Dun Cow is far and away the most literate and intelligent story of the year."
Leonard Sweet: Reliving the Passion "Wangerin has done it again. The kind of writer who could make a discussion of rocks sing, he turns his attention to the time and place on the Christian calendar when the rocks did precisely that-the Cross of Calvary. A marvelous and hugely rewarding book."