“She tried to look for the old self that might remain, but he was clean-shaven, and there was something so deeply mannered about him, a tweed jacket, a thin tie pushed up against his neck, a crease in his slacks. He looked as if he had dressed himself in the third person.”
—Colum McCann, “Sh’kohl”
“Mme is usually silent during la Question, but when we broach the topic of the source of Joan’s strength, she leans forward in her chair and says that faith is like a muscle. If we fail to cultivate it, it atrophies, so we must exercise. She looks quite ferocious as she says this, her accent suddenly not so much thicker—as it is impossible to associate the word thick with her—but sharper. She raises a clenched fist to make her dainty bicep pop, and her vehemence lifts her to her feet. I’ve never experienced atrophying faith, nor do I possess the ability to either cultivate or neglect it. For me faith arrives violently and then, having had me in its teeth for a spell, decamps, dropping me like limp and bloodied prey. Whether in the throes of its advent or departure, I try to keep all evidence of it hidden, as I would an unsightly, bandaged wound.”
—Kathryn Harrison, “Pilgrim’s Progress”
Zoetrope wins again.