Mary Rakow, Ph.D., a theologian with graduate degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Boston College, writes with deep feeling and a questioning faith. This Is Why I Came earned outstanding reviews in The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Commonweal, Christian Century, O Magazine, Ploughshares. It has been taught in graduate courses on homiletics, storytelling, faith and culture.
A Lannan Foundation Literary Fellow, Rakow she also received two Lannan Foundation residencies and two residencies at Whale & Star, in the studio of visual artist Enrique Martìnez Celaya, resulting in the first book length treatment of the artists work, Martinez Celaya, Working Methods. Rakow’s debut novel, The Memory Room, was shortlisted for the Stanford University Libraries International Saroyan Prize in Literature, a PEN USA/West Finalist in Fiction and was listed among the Best Books of the West by The Los Angeles Times.
A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UC Riverside, inducted into the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu, for her doctoral work, Rakow is a freelance editor living in the Bay Area, with clients who are both local and global. Please visit www.maryrakow.com.
Rakow’s Method in This Is Why I Came
For Mary Rakow, like all great art (Mozart, Cezanne), the Bible is porous and many-mansioned. Like the sonnet, a symphony, a great film, the Bible is never entirely about itself or for itself. There is always room for the other.
The minimalism of the Bible is known to all who read it. More is not-said than said. Into this emptiness Rakow’s Bernadette throws herself, her anger, disillusionment, her hope, making her home in the Bible’s welcoming vastness. To some, the liberty she takes might offend. But to her this way of reading the Bible, of entering into it, is an act of love.
Rakow believes that when we are moved by great art we sense these empty spaces waiting for us. And when we rush to fill them, we fill them with ourselves.