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Author Francis Spufford to Speak about Book "Unapologetic"

Nov. 4, 2013

Author Francis Spufford will be speaking about his book Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (HarperOne, 2013) on Wednesday, November 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alexander Reading Room. Free pizza will be served at the event.

From the publisher:

Guest Speaker 2013: Francis Spufford, Unapologetic Book Cover

Francis Spufford's wonderfully pugnacious defense of Christianity, UNAPOLOGETIC: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (HarperOne; October 15, 2013; $25.99 hardcover) is a witty and original dissection of why, and how, Christianity matters now. Published to great acclaim in the UK in 2012, UNAPOLOGETIC is a book for believers who are fed up with being patronized, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the 21st century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made. UNAPOLOGETIC is unhampered by niceness. It does not argue that Christianity is true, or that there is a God, or not--because how could anyone know that, or its opposite? Instead, Spufford argues that Christianity is recognizable, drawing on the deep ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the grown-up dignity of Christian experience.

Spufford, a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature writes in UNAPOLOGETIC: "You can easily look up what Christians believe in. You can read any number of defences of Christian ideas. This, however, is a defence of Christian emotions--of their intelligibility, of their grown-up dignity. The book is called UNAPOLOGETIC because it isn't giving an 'apologia', the technical term for a defence of the ideas. And also because I'm not sorry." He takes on Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great with his sharp-tongued defense and biting arguments.

Upon its publication in the U.K., critics weighed in robustly, calling UNAPOLOGETIC "a remarkable book which is passionate, challenging, tumultuously articulate, and armed with anger to a degree unusual in works of Christian Piety" (The Sunday Times in its lead review), and "the most exhilarating read of the year.... [Spufford's] case for faith is rude, intelligent and convincing" (The Times), and finally, "a rare gem, a book that carries conviction by being honest all the way through" (The Independent).

About the Author:

Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford, a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year (1997), has edited two acclaimed literary anthologies and a collection of essays about the history of technology. His first book, I May Be Some Time, won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of 1996, the Banff Mountain Book Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. His second, The Child That Books Built, gave Neil Gaiman 'the peculiar feeling that there was now a book I didn't need to write'. His third, Backroom Boys, was called 'as nearly perfect as makes no difference' by the Daily Telegraph and was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.