Sister Trouble Coming!

April 19, 2013 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Well, I am turning out to be a very hip and trendy writer. In an article in the New York Times on Wednesday, Leslie Kaufman holds forth on the practice of an increasing number of authors publishing their own books instead of using commercial publishers. The next day, I uploaded the manuscript of my new book, Sister Trouble: The Vatican, the Bishops, and U.S. Nuns, onto the CreateSpace webpage. (CreateSpace is the self-publishing arm of Amazon.) I have to admit, I’m pretty excited.

I began thinking about self-publishing after a meeting with an editor at an academic publishing house here in New York several years back. The editor was about 35, a pleasant young woman. But after I explained my proposed project, a biography of a Catholic sister who had in the 1970s been the executive director of the recently much-maligned Leadership Conference of Women Religious, she assured me that no publishing house would ever publish a book with the name of this “obscure figure” in the title. I will not tell you what I thought to say in response, but the first word in the phrase has four letters in it and the second three. What the young woman was saying, of course, was that there’s no money to be made in biographies of figures less well-known than Oprah. So much for people on the ground in American religious history.

Sister Trouble  is a collection of articles that I have written, for the most part, since the Vatican launched a visitation of U.S. Catholic women’s religious congregations and the investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in 2009. They appeared in a number of periodicals and then some appeared subsequently on this blog page. Read together, they provide a pretty good overall picture of what’s gone down between the Vatican and the nuns, and, of course, what I think about it. Other articles I wrote in the late 1990s; I’m republishing them now to make clear why I care as much as I do about what’s been happening to the sisters. A longer piece uses the gender theory of the distinguished feminist theorist Judith Butler to argue that what’s really got the boys riled up–and has done throughout the history of Christianity–is that nuns, by standing on the boundary between male clergy and “female” laypeople, mess up the ostensibly clear distinctions between genders. God forbid that we should have any ambiguity in that department! I mean, Jesus is male, and the church is female, right??

Sister Trouble will be available for sale on Amazon. Since I am no longer funding the publishing industry, it will be reasonably priced. I’m told it takes CreateSpace two to three months to design the cover and lay out the text, so that would mean the book will be available in the middle of the summer, more or less. You can bet I’ll be letting you know. I also hope to travel around a bit and talk about the book, probably in the fall, so maybe we can drink some bubbly together and toast the good sisters.

Stay tuned.

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5 Comments »

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  1. Good for you, Marian! And what a fabulous title for a bookI’m sure you’ll sell scads.

    TF

    From: Marian Ronan <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Marian Ronan <comment+7hdjh-8-p1zjbb03-ekr47@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Friday, April 19, 2013 7:51 AM To: Tracy Fessenden <tracyf@asu.edu> Subject: [New post] Sister Trouble Coming!

    Marian Ronan posted: “Well, I am turning out to be a very hip and trendy writer. In an article in the New York Times on Wednesday, Leslie Kaufman holds forth on the practice of an increasing number of authors publishing their own books instead of using commercial publishers. T”

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  2. What great news, Marian.  After the edict from the Vatican last week which enraged me, I’m looking forward to your analysis of the problem to calm me down.

     

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  3. Hurrah! I’m so glad you have collected these essays and that you are making them available!

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  4. I think we should toast you!

    Always knew you were hip and trendy….

    Congrats and love,

    Carolyn

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  5. That’s wonderful news, Marian! I can’t wait for it to come out — and to see the Mary Daniel Turner piece, especially.
    Thanks for all your work! Doretta

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