“What a relief and, strangely, a comfort to be allowed inside a Jesuit brother’s own dark nights of questions and quandaries. Readers will feel accompanied in their own profound doubts and sufferings. The load gets lighter shared.” —Julia Alvarez, writer, poet, and author of Afterlife and Already a Butterfly: A Meditation Story
“Joe Hoover has shaken the theodicean tree and stands among the fallen apples—wormy and bruised, laden with grace and gravity. Part Rolling Stone, part Rutter’s “Requiem,” O Death, Where is Thy Sting? serves up sups of Hopkins and Robert Ingersoll, doses of Job, both joyous and sorrowful mysteries, before which we mortals sit in silence, marveling.” —Thomas Lynch, author of The Depositions and The Undertaking
“Joe Hoover has gifted us with an intense, wonderfully poetic, and exceptionally moving interrogation of how we should feel about loss, justice, and holiness amid the upheavals of life. I find it brilliant.” —Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
In this compelling book of contemporary theodicy, Jesuit brother Joe Hoover relates stories from unique, compelling angles as he grapples with the age-old questions of human suffering: Where is God? Why do we suffer? Does death have the last word?
Creatively weaving together meditations on the poor of El Salvador, the Toronto L’Arche community, the attacks of September 11, and other encounters, Hoover confronts, denies, and reclaims theology, philosophy, art, and personal stories to grapple with the eternal, vexing question of the presence of God in human suffering.
Joe Hoover, SJ is a Jesuit brother working as a playwright and actor, as well as poetry editor at America Media. He is from Omaha, attended Marquette University and lives in a Jesuit community in Brooklyn, New York.