Because most of the authors (e.g., John Berryman, Pete Hamill, and Eugene O'Neill) are catholic writers rather than Catholic writers, this is valuable to a wide audience. Wilson Library Bulletin
The Dictionary contains 135 biographical-critical essays on contemporary Catholic American poets, dramatists, and fiction writers. Not since Hoehn's Catholic Authors: Contemporary Biographical Sketches, 1930-1947 has such an inventory of Catholic American writers appeared. The Works By bibliographies contain all of each author's productions be they fiction, poetry, drama or non-fiction. The Works About bibliographies to each essay cite five critical studies or, where none exists, book reviews, plus references to other biographical sources. The Introduction explores the diversity of belief in contemporary Catholic expression. An essay by Professor Genaro Padilla examines the place of Catholicism in the work of Hispanic writers in the United States today. A partial list of the authors contained here reads like a Who's Who of American literary luminaries and includes such writers as John Gregory Dunne, Mary Gordon, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, Don Delillo, Robert Stone, and Maureen Howard.
As a resource for further research on the authors contained, for continued reflection on the various forms of contemporary Catholic American writing, and for renewed scholarly interest in many excellent and often-neglected literary texts, the Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Catholic American Writing deserves a place in most academic and public libraries. Generalists and English teachers and majors will find its perusal fascinating and rewarding.