Dog on the Cross

ALGONQUIN BOOKS (2004)

“In Gwyn’s hands, miracle becomes nightmare, nightmare your waking life. A journey into the spiritual wilderness with a calm, blasted, merciless antiprophet of the truth.”—Brad Watson

“There aren’t many writers anymore seriously considering old-testament-style sin and the possibility of redemption—of damnation even—in their work. Fewer still do with as much wisdom and compassion as Aaron Gwyn. This is Flannery O’Connor territory and most writers suffer by comparison. Gwyn does not. Dog on the Cross is a stunning debut.”—Michael Knight

“Brace yourself for immersion in a world of sinners and saved, backsliders and revivals….An auspicious first.”—Kirkus, starred review

“Aaron Gwyn’s stories tell the gospel truth. They speak in tongues. They perform exorcisms. If they were able to set themselves afire, they would—and that’s a good thing, because the books the zealots toss in barrels and bonfires are the books that challenge, frighten, enlighten, and offend.”—Tom Franklin

“In Gwyn’s expert hands, nothing, including good or evil, is ever so simple, and that’s what makes this collection—part Flannery O’Connor, part Shirley Jackson, and wholly original—so brilliantly compelling. Because these stories aren’t so much a study of a small group of the faithful as of the rocky path of belief, whether it be the self-delusions of a teenager who refuses to admit that his raging hormones are anything other than damnation, or the sins of a church elder whose only way of dealing with two men in love is with physical violence.”—Caroline Leavitt, The Boston Globe

“Mr. Gwyn writes in a taut, authoritative style….The stories, related in time and place, are utterly humorless, powerful documentations of lives altered by the narrow central vision of the church that serves as the center of communal life.”—Dallas Morning News

“Although each of these stories is capable of standing on its own, together they represent a potent glimpse into the occasionally uplifting but more often dangerously fanatical elements of religious fundamentalism.”—Booklist

“[A] striking collection of stories, strung together with themes of faith and self-discovery.”—Library Journal