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Interior States: Essays
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A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity- faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.

About the Author

MEGHAN O'GIEBLYN is a writer who was raised and still lives in the Midwest. Her essays have appeared in Harper's Magazine, n+1,The Point, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Best American Essays 2017, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She received a B.A. in English from Loyola University, Chicago and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband.

Reviews

"One of the most consistently absorbing collection of essays I've read in a long time. Meghan O'Gieblyn is at times rueful, at times hard-hitting, but hers is a distinctly independent-minded and nuanced voice."
-Daphne Merkin

"For insight into America's eschatological mind-set, and into fundamentalist culture generally, there may be no more eloquent guide than Meghan O'Gieblyn, who was raised in the faith and then -- painfully, reluctantly -- abandoned it... What she captures most vividly here is Christianity's indomitable reach... Thrillingly alive, her essays are testaments to exquisite attentiveness, each painstakingly stitched and emitting a pleasing, old-fashioned whiff of starch."
-The New York Times Book Review

"[A] standout."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Comparing O'Gieblyn's writing on the Midwest to Didion's essays on California might seem too easy, but the comparison is apt. Both authors seem to be looking for a way out of their homeland, even as they admit they'll probably never leave."
-Bookforum

"O'Gieblyn has done an excellent job of pinning down [the Midwest's] character... [She has] a gift for seeing beyond the ideological veil to the other side of things... In a time when few voices are willing to engage with positions they disagree with, O'Gieblyn writes with refreshing sensitivity about subjects and institutions with which she often has foundational disagreements... A searching, powerful book, full of insight and generous critical inquiry.
-The Believer

"An essayist of uncommon vision... [O'Gieblyn] displays a knack for noting the traces of the religious in the supposedly secular, as well as the inverse... An inquiry into the very heart of contemporary American life."
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Los Angeles Review of Books

"[O'Gieblyn] displays a hyper-awareness of her region's place in history... Interior States can be taken as a record of the neuroses of a cradle evangelical... Can anything replace religious belief? This is the question that haunts O'Gieblyn's book, even at its end."
-The Point

"O'Gieblyn's writing about the Midwest avoids the usual folksiness or cutesiness inherent in many such essays. There are no cute anecdotes about raising chickens or rooting for the Packers here. Instead, she plumbs the complexities of the Midwestern identity, what keeps us here and what compels us to leave."
-The Capital Times, Madison

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